Empower Erie News & Updates

Website, social media help nonprofit explain proposed Erie community college

Posted on April 13th, 2017 at 5:28 PM
  

Website, social media help nonprofit explain proposed Erie community college

This article was originally written by Kevin Flowers and published on GoErie.com on April 13, 2017.

The nonprofit working to create an Erie County community college has launched a website and taken to social media to explain to the public why it feels the college is necessary locally.

Empower Erie has created www.empowererie.org, which describes the organization and its mission and includes detailed information about the community college effort.

Details and other information related to the proposed local community college can also be found at www.facebook.com/empowererie and on Empower Erie’s Twitter feed, www.twitter.com/empower_erie. ;

“A big part of what Empower Erie si doing is educational,” said Kate Philips, the nonprofit’s communications consultant. “Our online resources are just an extension of that education process.”

Led by Erie lawyer Ron DiNicola, Empower Erie is currently conducting a state-required feasibility study to determine whether creating an Erie County community college is feasible. Previous efforts to organize a local community college failed for lack of a prime financial sponsor.

Parker Phillips, an Erie-based consulting firm handling the feasibility study for Empower Erie.

Erie County Council on Dec. 21 signed off on allocating $60,000 toward the feasibility study.

The nonprofit’s plan has support from the Erie Community Foundation, the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority and the Susan Hirt Hagen Fund for Transformational Philanthropy, which collectively have contributed $300,000 toward the effort.

The Hagen Fund and ECGRA have promised an additional $3.7 million if Erie County Council ultimately votes to create a community college.

Empower Erie announced in late March that in a recent telephone survey 72 percent of the 500 Erie County residents who were randomly surveyed, or 360 people, said they support the establishment of a community college.

The survey included questions about the need for a community college, the need for specific degrees/curriculum, program offerings and other factors.

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