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Build Erie's Future.

Advance the Next Generation.
 

Empower Erie

Empower Erie is a non-profit organization created to spark change in the Erie community by advancing the next generation of Erie's workforce and improving Erie's economic landscape. As a recipient of an Erie Community Foundation Shaping Tomorrow grant, the Empower Erie team has been charged with establishing a Community College in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Following World War II, Community colleges were created to be responsive to the unique needs of the local community they serve—locally governed and locally focused. The work starts with the assessment of what needs are in the community college and what resources already exist.  Once established, the community college’s role is to be a collaborator with the existing members of the local education ecosystem and create the synergy with employers to prepare the workforce for existing jobs and attract new jobs. It’s not a competitive model, it’s a collaborative model.

Community college is more important than ever as students leave high school unprepared to enter college and more adult learners seek remedial education to jumpstart their education and retool for a new job mid-career. One of the goals of Emerge 2040, the Erie region's 25-year plan for sustainability, was developing an accessible, affordable network for education and training. An Erie Community College could provide a solid anchor for those efforts.

A community college is a community asset that serves its community above all. A well-educated, well-trained workforce is key to the long-term viability to any company and every community. Erie County represents the most populated region of the state where there is no access to a community college, despite the fact that our state tax dollars support community colleges across the Commonwealth. It’s time for us to start asking ourselves, why not Erie?

Above all, a community college represents the beating heart of an evolving community and can Empower Erie as we prepare to write our next chapter.

Our view: Community college...

Posted on April 23rd, 2020 at 3:40 PM
Our view: Community college vote long overdue In a letter to the Board of Education chairwoman, Karen Farmer White, the CommunityCollege Committee rightly noted that the econom...

Erie County Community Colle...

Posted on April 16th, 2020 at 10:45 AM
Community College: Now more than ever A message from Ron DiNicola of Empower Erie A few short weeks ago – although it feels like a lifetime – we were prepari...

Community Colleges Come thr...

Posted on April 15th, 2020 at 10:56 AM
Community Colleges Come through in Time of Crisis With “stay-at-home” orders across the country, community colleges have responded rapidly to deliver on their core ...

Pat Howard: On college, raw...

Posted on February 9th, 2020 at 1:53 PM
Community college opponents seek to overturn the democratic process in Erie County.

Our view: Don’t let rural...

Posted on March 13th, 2018 at 12:36 PM
A community college has long been recommended in Erie County to fill a gap in the region’s education continuum and serve as a resource to local employers, especially manuf...

Our view: Budget item kindl...

Posted on March 2nd, 2018 at 12:45 PM
As Erie Times-News reporter Matthew Rink detailed, the state last fall authorized $10 million in the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program for Erie County’s proposed co...

Community college is vital ...

Posted on November 5th, 2017 at 10:31 AM
Tom Hagen's op-ed in support of the community college.

Erie County community colle...

Posted on June 30th, 2017 at 4:16 PM
The state’s application review process could take up to a year, officials have said.

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