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Western Colorado Community College honored for role in workforce development by local officials

WCCC and CMU included in proclamation as Mesa County declares National Workforce Development Month

Western Colorado Community College Vice President Brigitte Sundermann is proud of the numerous ways WCCC has contributed to regional workforce development. Local elected officials shared this pride inviting her to join in a celebration naming September, 2019 as Workforce Development Month in Mesa County.

In 2018 the community college joined Mesa County Valley School District 51 in acquiring the Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools in Colorado. In 2019 the college secured a number of workforce development related grants and contributions including funding from ANB Bank and the Sturm Family for a first of its kind mobile learning lab. CMU and WCCC also joined the Mesa County Workforce Center in exploring expansion of the existing partnership to enhance future collaboration. WCCC has seen 2019 growth in concurrent enrolment and other efforts that promote high school students who wish to pursue college credits and certificates while in high school.

The commissioners made the announcement during a formal hearing at the Mesa County Courthouse where Sundermann was joined by the Mesa County Workforce Center, Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, Mesa County Library, Western Colorado Community College, Colorado Mesa University, School District 51 and CareerWise. During the hearing commissioners noted that the attendees, "are vital partners working together to provide stable and sustainable employment to Mesa County citizens."

The official proclamation was read by Commissioner John Justman and communicated that Mesa County's workforce development is demand-driven and effective at meeting the needs of the state’s employers, workers, and communities.

CMU President Tim Foster believes the unique mission of CMU, that includes WCCC as a division of the university, allows for unique approaches to workforce development.

"The dual mission of CMU fosters a career ladder approach that ranges from students acquiring a certificate or associates degree while in high school to graduate students acquiring a doctorate level degree in health related disciplines," said Foster. "This approach is part of why we continue to experience success."

After the ceremony Sundermann said she was excited WCCC was included in the proclamation as a critical contributor to workforce development, and was also pleased that the college's efforts are paying off in terms of recognition.

"Our team turns on the principle that workforce development must be employer-driven, and that WCCC must engage employers to first define their workforce needs. This way we can ensure those needs are met, and we can help employers recruit, retain, and improve the performance of qualified employees as part of our mission as a community college."

Community members and employers interested in learning more about Western Colorado Community College's role in workforce development are encouraged tour the campus and or visit the college website. 

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Written by David Ludlam