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Rural community college gains traction

April 24, 2014

Educational needs of an underserved populace in rural Pennsylvania may finally be addressed by legislators this year.
House Bill 1701, now in the House Education committee, aims to create a rural community college pilot program serving an 11-county region of northwest and north central Pennsylvania.
Its sister legislation, Senate Bill 1000, passed with flying colors, 42-4.
"It’s been an issue and a concern for our region in the context of higher education, workforce, and job development training for a long time," said Eric Bridges, executive director at the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission.
The seeds were planted quite some time ago as Senator Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) reached out to educators about a national problem which slowly became a statewide issue, and finally, a regional hurdle.

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