FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 8, 2016
COOS BAY – The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay has committed $25,000 toward Southwestern Oregon Community College’s effort to build a new Health & Science Technology Building on the Coos Bay campus.
“It’s imperative our communities on the south Oregon coast have a workforce trained and educated to take on the specialized science and health care jobs of today and the future,” said Port CEO John Burns, announcing the port’s investment in the project.
The project fits with the Port’s mission to promote a sustainable healthy economy for southwest Oregon and ultimately the state. It also ensures the college remains competitive and viable, which is critical to a rural community in a global economy.
“When companies look to expand existing operations or make new investment in a community, they choose to do business in an area with a thriving college and excellent medical care,” Burns said. “This project ensures our region will provide both.”
The Port investment will be pooled with other community funds contributed toward the $16 million construction of the 48,000 sq. ft. building. It will feature modern classrooms, lecture halls and specialized science and collaborative health care labs for students pursuing high-skill training for local jobs. It also will allow the college to add new programs industry needs, serve an additional 160 science students per year and expand the nursing degree program from 56 to 80 students.
“The community enthusiasm for this facility to evolve our college into a new era of technology and high-skill training in science, nursing and allied health care programs is unprecedented – and inspiring,” said college President Dr. Patty Scott. “We are very pleased to have the Port of Coos Bay as a partner in this project.”
The Health & Science Technology Building also will benefit the region’s high school students in Health Career Pathways and dual-enrollment programs, along with traditional recent high school graduates and existing workers who want to improve their skills and marketability.
“The timing is perfect, too. Economists predict double-digit increases for the next decade in many health and science occupations, and with the investment Southwestern will be better prepared to train students for these jobs,” Scott said.
John Burns, Oregon International Port of Coos Bay Elise Hamner, Southwestern Oregon Community College
The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay has been serving the southwest region of Oregon since 1912, providing infrastructure for water-related industries and recreation, and support for businesses engaged in global trade.
Since 1961, Southwestern Oregon Community College has served at the south Oregon coast’s residents, providing access to lifelong learning and community engagement in a sustainable manner.