What does higher education have to do with the economic development of a region?
“Plenty,” according to Tidewater Community College Chesapeake Campus Provost Lisa Rhine, who was the presenter at the July meeting for the City of Chesapeake Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC), held in the newly opened Chesapeake Student Center.
For starters, she said, “College graduates and those with some college, earn more and pay more taxes than those with a high school education or less.” She also noted that college graduates are less likely to be unemployed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Rhine continued by noting that college graduates are more likely to vote, volunteer and be in very good or excellent health.
“The road to success runs through TCC and we are here for this community,” Rhine said. “We are a true community college, with 51 percent of Hampton Roads residents who enroll in higher education coming here.”
Higher education is also an important consideration for companies who decide to locate their operations in Hampton Roads. “We know that employers are looking for a community that provides qualified workers to fill career and technical positions, and workforce solutions to help train staff members who are already in place,” Rhine said. “TCC is committed to filling both roles.”
Rhine notes that by year 2018, 63 percent of jobs will require “some college,” a figure that continues to climb. “It’s my personal goal to get involved in economic development in the region,” Rhine said. “So we can continue to provide solid workers for our cities.”
“We are excited about the partnership between TCC and the City of Chesapeake, and seeing the growth and expansion of TCC’s campuses,” added Voncile “Von” Gilbreath, senior business development manager for the city. “Even hosting our meeting here has been beneficial, as we attracted a large crowd with many new faces.”
Rhine talked about the future growth of the Chesapeake Campus, including a four-story parking garage on tap for groundbreaking by September and a new science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) building that is the next to be constructed by the Virginia Community College System on campus.
The EDAC meeting concluded with tours of the Chesapeake Student Center.
Learn how TCC is educating a workforce in Hampton Roads. Visit Center for Workforce Solutions.