If Not MCCC, Then Who?

Today I had the honor of presenting to a group of business people and other community leaders on “The Role of Monroe County Community College in Building ‘Place’ in Monroe County”. The subtitle was “If not MCCC, then Who?”
“Placemaking” is defined as, “A concept, based on the principle that people choose to settle in places that offer the amenities, social and professional networks, resources and opportunities to support thriving lifestyles”.
So, then the question is, how does MCCC support thriving lifestyles in Monroe County? I began with a couple of quotes, one from this morning’s keynote speaker, Daniel Gilmartin, and the other from Lou Glazer – both culled from the publication, The Economics of Place. Lou Glazer states, “We believe the single most important step policy makers can take for the future economic success of Michigan is to ensure the long-term vitality and agility of our higher education system”. From our speaker, Daniel Gilmartin, “we know that educational attainment is the biggest predictor of success for cities and metro areas today. The research is unassailable”.
In order for cities to thrive, education is the variable of the greatest magnitude. My presentation provided data comparing Monroe County educational attainment with Michigan and the nation. Monroe lags behind the rest of the state and nation in educational attainment beyond the high school level – the numbers are clear. MCCC adds value not only in educational attainment, but in other areas as well. To be able to close this gap, this community needs MCCC more than ever, for without MCCC, the gap would be much wider.
The following is a partial list of MCCC programs that add value to this county and help build ‘place’.
 Community Training – provided to several firms county-wide
 Speakers Bureau – several speakers made available on numerous topics
 Two four-year institutions on campus (EMU and Siena Heights)
 Dissections – grant to demonstrate pig heart and lung dissections for elementary schools
 Community Mentoring – students mentor and tutor in community
 SUPER Monroe – collaboration among ISD and BDC for career technical education
 Current Affairs series – current topics in the news are discussed on campus for community edification
 Diversity Series – months are celebrated with topics of interest
 County Diversity Committee – being led by MCCC
 Campus Meetings – Nar-Anon, Turtle Island Dream keepers and others
 Business Summit – co-sponsored with the Monroe Chamber on campus
 Business/Entrepreneurship Pitch Competition
 Corporate Training – other companies use MCCC facilities for training
 Non-profit training – ISD, School Districts, Police, Fire, others use MCCC facilities
 Themed Culinary Events involving the entire community
 Study Abroad opportunities which include the community
 Political Candidate Forums
 Family Fun Night for the entire community
 Parcourse and walking trail available to the public
 Ms. Monroe Pageant
 Habitat Events
 Blood Drives
 Native American Pow Wow
 March of Dimes (March for Babies) – this year the event will be at MCCC instead of Sterling State Park.
 Electric Car Charging Stations – the only public charging stations in the county
 Heroine Summit
 Human Trafficking Summit/Panel Discussion
 Veterans Organization
Again, I ask, if not MCCC, then who? There is no other full-service higher educational institution in this county, there is no other facility like the La-Z-Boy facility and Meyer Theater in this county, there is no other place that provides the variety and breadth and depth of programs that we do. No other place offers the amenities, social and professional networking opportunities that support thriving lifestyles (Placemaking) that we do. IF NOT MCCC, THEN WHO?


One thought on “If Not MCCC, Then Who?

  1. Who? Well, no institution does as much as MCCC. Getting the message out about all the ways in which this institution enriches the county is the challenge.

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