The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Valley Industrial Association have both endorsed Measure M, a ballot initiative that will be on the November 7 general election ballot. Measure M will provide funds for College of the Canyons to add critically needed classrooms and labs, and ease overcrowding at the college.
Crowded conditions at the college have reached a significant level with more than 2,200 students being placed on waiting lists rather than in classrooms during the last semester. In addition, many students are forced to either delay or put their educational goals on hold when they can’t get the classes or training they need, when they need it.
Sue Bozman, college spokesperson said, “The student population at College of the Canyons is well above 18,000 per semester, exceeding a milestone not expected until 2011.”
The Chamber of Commerce and VIA represent hundreds of businesses and manufacturers in the Santa Clarita Valley and their endorsement of Measure M recognizes the value that College of the Canyons provides them. The college trains employees for hundreds of local businesses and provides process improvement training for manufacturers. COC graduates and people trained at the college constitute an important labor pool for existing businesses and companies looking to relocate to the area find the depth and breadth of the labor pool to be very attractive.
Dan Goetz, President and CEO of UltraViolet Devices said, “College of the Canyons graduates are extremely valuable to our local economy. Motivated, had-working students leave COC with up-to-date career skills and the confidence to succeed.” Goetz is encouraging other business leaders to join him in supporting Measure M.
While many people in the community don’t realize it, the college is one of the largest employers in the Santa Clarita Valley. In addition to the educational and workforce training services the college provides, it contributes directly to the economic development and health of our community through employment, business activity and capital construction.
As the college pays its employees, contractors and vendors for services and goods, funds flow into the community and are multiplied many times as those who receive funds spend them again and again in their own purchases of goods and services. Local businesses and industries thrive from the education and training the college provides, as well as the economic impact of its operations.
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Valley Industrial Association have made a very strong statement about the college’s value to the economic health of our communities by endorsing the college’s plan to maximize student access on both the main and Canyon Country campuses, continue workforce training at the highest levels possible and improving and upgrading student access to current technologies.