Proposal on Tuesday, Aug. 3 ballot will provide funding to update programs and facilities to meet job training demands, support critical industries and economic growth in the region
July 7, 2021 – Today, the Invest in St. Louis Community College committee launched its efforts to encourage St. Louis area residents to vote yes for Proposition R to ensure St. Louis Community College campuses are up-to-date, safe, accessible and affordable for those seeking quality job training and retraining that will help them succeed in today’s workforce.
“The success of our community college is more important than ever as we recover from the pandemic,” said Mark Wrighton, PhD, chancellor emeritus of Washington University in Saint Louis and co-chair of the campaign committee. “The investments we make in training and retraining our workforce now will pay off again and again over the long term for our St. Louis economy.”
Businesses across the region are desperately struggling to find qualified candidates to fill positions in important industries such as healthcare, biotech, information technology and manufacturing. Community college provides a clear, affordable path to training and helping to fill those jobs. Employers report their number one barrier to growth is a shortage of skilled employees. As of spring 2021, there were more than 2,500 nursing jobs and 2,000 computer coding jobs left unfilled in the St. Louis region. At the same time, the College’s programs in these fields have waiting lists due to limited space in properly equipped facilities.
Prop. R would address these challenges head-on by providing the necessary funding to enhance job training programs and update facilities that are more than a half-century old to meet the educational demands of today. The proposal will also protect the community’s investment in the College’s facilities by keeping them up-to-date and in good working condition.
Approval of Prop. R would increase the operating tax levy by 8 cents per 100 dollars of assessed valuation. A resident whose home has an estimated value of $150,000 will pay an additional $1.90 per month. For most homeowners, Prop. R would cost pennies a day.
St. Louis Community College (STLCC) serves more than 50,000 students annually, and it is estimated that more than half of the households in the St. Louis region have at least one resident who has attended STLCC at one point.
Since opening in the 1960s, the role and importance of investment in community colleges has evolved.
St. Louis Community College has developed deep partnerships between high schools and the College to accelerate students’ paths to the workforce and help students transition to post-secondary programs that are direct pipelines to productive careers.
“Everyone in the region stands to benefit from investments in STLCC,” said Dr. Candice Carter-Oliver, chief executive officer for Confluence Academies charter schools and co-chair of the campaign committee. “Whether you are a senior in high school or a senior citizen, having access to quality and affordable higher education and job training close to where you live and work is invaluable. Prop. R is a critical measure for everyone in our region, and we are optimistic voters will see the value it will provide to us all.”
Voters will have the opportunity to vote for Prop. R in the special election on Tuesday, Aug. 3 and until Aug. 2 by absentee ballot.
To learn more about Prop. R. visit https://stlccpropr.com/
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