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Photo of Oregon City Mayor Doug NeeleyMayor Doug Neeley

From City Matters -

Fall 2014 Oregon City Trail News

WHILE WASHINGTON AND MULTNOMAH COUNTIES HAVE MORE THAN MADE UP FOR THE JOBS LOST in the worst recession experienced since the Great Depression, Clackamas County has not yet done so.

 It is critical for us to have the training and educational capacity to meet the workforce demands of the present and future if we are to compete in the job market for family-wage jobs. In Clackamas County, Clackamas Community College provides the affordable programs needed for the skills and education required in the modern employment environment. This is why the College’s enrollment has increased 41% in the last 10 years and is now approximately 30,000 students. Clackamas Community College has the lowest tuition rate of all community colleges in Oregon and its tuition is less than half that of the average tuition paid at Oregon’s four-year state institutions.

 The College makes it possible for students to obtain an affordable education. Based on surveys of former students, 87% of those receiving an occupational degree find work within 6 months of graduation, 77% of those transferring to four-year institutions do so within one year of leaving Clackamas Community College, and 46% of those getting a degree there gain employment within Clackamas County.

 However the College’s success has created challenges that need to be overcome. The College does not have sufficient classroom space to accommodate the growing student population. Not only is additional space required, the College needs modern equipment and facilities to meet the educational requirements of today’s workplace. Over the past two years, Clackamas Community College has sought input from the community to determine what services and facilities are needed to meet those requirements. Based on the community’s responses, the College has determined that it needs:

 1)  a new industrial learning center to provide training in the fields of electronics, automotive repair, and manufacturing and to provide support for needed apprenticeship and internship programs;

2)  more classrooms and a modernization of equipment and facilities;

3)  building improvements through the replacement of outdated electrical, heating, ventilation, and plumbing equipment, and

4)  a replacement for the 1940s-era building at the Harmony Campus with a modern center for training high-demand jobs in the health-care and science fields.

To meet those requirements, the College’s Board of Directors has determined it requires a total of $155 million and has decided to place a $90 million dollar bond measure on the November 4th ballot and to seek an additional $65 million in matching funds, $16 million of which has already been committed should the bond pass. The $90 million bond will result in a rate of 19-cents/$1000 of assessed property value which is the current rate paid by County taxpayers, meaning that there will be no net increase in taxes resulting from passage of the bond measure.

For more information on this bond measure, connect to www.clackamas.edu/bondinformation