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Officials Finalize Plans for Education Center in Lewis County

(l-r) Terrence H. Harris, Dean of Continuing Education and Community Outreach, Jefferson Community College; Frank J. Pace, Lewis County Director of Planning; Ty A. Stone, President, Jefferson Community College; Stephen Todd, Superintendent of Jeff-Lewis BOCES; Michele E. Ledoux, Executive Director, Cornell Cooperative Extension Lewis County. 

On Friday, January 26, 2018 officials from Lewis County, Jefferson Community College, Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Lewis County jointly announced final plans for an education center in Lewis County and signed a partnership agreement. 

The announcement was the culmination of two years of talks between Lewis County and Jefferson Community College that began in 2015 when the Lewis County legislature earmarked $4 million for the construction of a 20,000 square foot education center. In the memorandum of understanding, Jefferson Community College will operate the education center with BOCES and Cornell Cooperative Extension subleasing office and educational space.

“This is a great day for Lewis County. For years, Lewis County has been one of New York’s few counties without a higher education facility for its residents,” said Larry Dolhof, Chairman of the Board of Legislators. This partnership fulfills the Legislature’s vision for our community by ensuring Lewis County’s workforce is prepared for future growth and investment.”

Data speaks clearly to the need for increased educational opportunities and specific workforce training opportunities in the Lewis County region. 

Jefferson plans to offer a mix of non-college credit bearing and credit classes in the areas of agribusiness, hospitality and tourism, and advanced manufacturing. Many non-credit offerings will be developed as micro-credentials with prior learning assessment built in for transferability to credit bearing courses.  

“It is a natural fit for Jefferson Community College whose mission includes making education accessible to all,” said Dr. Ty A. Stone, president of Jefferson Community College.  “Accessibility includes flexibility to offer what is needed when it is needed, where it is needed. Trainings and workshops at this education center can be tailored to meet the specific needs of Lewis County community members and local manufacturers.”

“This collaborative partnership is a great example of how we can collectively serve our community by working together,” said Stone. “This is an exciting project for the residents of both Lewis and Jefferson counties with a ripple effect sure to impact the entire North Country region and we anticipate great success.”

Jerry H. King, Vice Chairman of the Board of Legislators, said, “This new partnership will open the doors of opportunity for learners young and old. With JCC, BOCES, and Cornell Cooperative Extension under one roof, Lewis County will be home to one of the State’s first truly collaborative education projects. The possibilities are endless.”

“Cornell Cooperative Extension of Lewis County is pleased to be bringing land grant university outreach programs and research-based knowledge to improve our communities within Lewis County,” said Andrew Reid, Board President for Cooperative Extension. “This Center will expand evidence–based science and modern technologies to farmers, consumers and families with continued programing that enhances our ongoing efforts with youth development, community outreach, parenting and agriculture by partnering with Jefferson Community College.

“This exciting new venture extends and strengthens the long-standing and valued partnership that exists between Jefferson Community College, Jefferson-Lewis BOCES, Lewis County, and Cornell Cooperative Extension,” said Stephen Todd, district superintendent for Jefferson-Lewis-Hamilton-Herkimer-Oneida BOCES. “Together we will be able to build and strengthen academic programs for the communities we serve, and this facility will allow us to integrate our efforts seamlessly. This type of forward-thinking partnership will be a model to others around the state, and we are so pleased and proud to be a part of it.”

Ryan Piche, County Manager, said, “This partnership executes the vision of the Lewis County Board of Legislators, and was made possible by the hard work of employees from Lewis County, JCC, and BOCES. Thank you to the JCC Board of Trustees, the BOCES Board of Education, and all our partners, for believing in the future of Lewis County.”

Lewis County will now issue a bid for the design of the building which will be located adjacent to the Maple Ridge Center on East Road. Officials are hopeful that construction can begin as early as Spring 2018 and the Education Center will be open and serving students by Fall 2018.  

For additional information:  

Ryan Piche, Lewis County, (315) 377-2000
Dr. Ty A. Stone, Jefferson Community College, (315) 786-2404
Stephen J. Todd, Jefferson-Lewis BOCES, (315) 779-7000
Michele E. Ledoux, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Lewis County, (315) 376-5270

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