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QCC Southbridge Invites South County Business, Higher Ed Leaders and Local Government Officials to Discuss Expansion Possibilities

Contact: Cherie Ronayne
Office of Institutional Communications
508.854.2849
cronayne [at] qcc.mass.edu

Release Date: 
12/9/2013

Worcester, MA – December 9, 2013 – On December 6, a group of QCC Administrators facilitated by the Chamber of Central Mass South invited South County business and industry leaders, Higher Education and local government officials to a luncheon meeting to discuss the possibilities for expansion and collaborations within the QCC Southbridge community in an “Exploration of Educational and Economic Growth in South County.”

The meeting was held at the Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center. Among attendees were personnel from Bay Path Vocational Technical High School, Dexter-Russell, Family Health Center of Worcester, Flexcon, Fitchburg State University, Hyde Tools, IPG Photonics, MassMEP, Southbridge Savings Bank, United Lens Company, Workforce Central and Workforce Investment Board. Supporters of Southbridge growth include Harrington Hospital, Harrington Hospital Auxiliary, the Health Foundation of Central MA, Hyde/Dexter Russell Charitable Foundation, North Brookfield Savings Bank, Savers Bank, Southbridge Savings Bank, Southbridge Credit Union, Spencer Bank and United Lens Company.

Issues leading to exploration of an expansion include enrollment increases at QCC Southbridge; (enrollment has tripled, far exceeding expectation, since its official opening in 2008) constrained classroom and laboratory space; regional needs for both degreed and trained professionals; more convenient location for South County students;
Discussion centered on the feasibility of collaborations with additional higher education and training partners

Proposed next steps include: Reconvening a South County Leadership group, conducting a 90-day exploration period, seeking broad partnerships, committing to a monthly meeting and asking all partners to contribute time, talent and leveraging of resources. The meeting convened after a brief question and answer period.

Quinsigamond Community College is the most affordable higher education in Worcester County. As a regional leader in education and workforce development, QCC serves the diverse educational needs of Central Massachusetts by providing affordable, accessible, and high quality programming leading to transfer, career, and lifelong learning.