City-County joint initiative to impact economic and workforce development, revitalize community
Frankfort, IN – In a three-way celebratory event tonight, Frankfort City, Clinton County and Ivy Tech Community College officials announced an Ivy Tech Center is slated for Frankfort in the Fall of 2013 offering a curriculum focused on building local workforce development.
Clinton County Commissioners, City and County Councilors and Frankfort Board of Works members will vote on a Declaration of Interest to purchase the Frankfort Times building at 251 East Clinton Street as the planned site of the Ivy Tech Center. City and County officials are committing to acquiring the real estate and constructing the necessary parking for the new campus.
City officials are working with the newspaper’s leadership to secure another downtown facility as the future home for the newspaper staff.
Following seven months of cooperative planning, Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes declared the Ivy Tech project the most progressive, collaborative initiative the community has experienced.
“Our number one goal is the transformational change this partnership and opportunity will bring. The novel approach of intertwining curriculum with the needs of our local workforce is going to have a dramatic impact on our Industrial Park and our industrial leaders. Local Ivy Tech graduates will gain the knowledge and skills our local industries want and need so educated talent remains in the City and County for everyone’s benefit; a win-win all the way around.
“Finally and certainly not least, the presence of an Ivy Tech Center will revitalize our downtown in ways never experienced before. The influx of college students of all ages into our downtown business district will present exciting economic development opportunities for our existing corporate citizens as well as attract new businesses.
“We have a significant fundraising challenge and a great deal of work ahead of us, but with the cooperation shown to date, we are looking forward to turning this opportunity into reality. Ivy Tech in Frankfort will show that our City and all of Clinton County is open for business,” McBarnes said.
With the theme We’ve Just Begun, Monday evening’s agenda will include a Statement of Purpose delivered by McBarnes followed by the Board of Trustees of Ivy Tech Community College-Lafayette Region voting on a Letter of Intent for the initiative.
According to Chancellor of Ivy Tech-Lafayette Dr. David Bathe, there are major benefits of the partnership.
“The leaders of Clinton County, the Chamber of Commerce and Mayor McBarnes have a true vision for the future of Frankfort and the County. We are very pleased and honored that they have asked us to be a part of their vision to bring higher education to their citizens.
“The location of the Ivy Tech Center is within 15 minutes of most of the residents of the County and only slightly more from Lebanon and Boone County,” Bathe said.
City Council President Jim Moyer and County Commissioner Bill Beard will share the response of votes for the Declaration of Interest for the newspaper building purchase.
“The Frankfort City Council is proud to be a part of this historic moment in the future progress of our community. Visionary teamwork brought all of us to this point and we look forward to continuing to partner with Ivy Tech in making a local campus a reality,” Moyer said.
Beard echoed the optimism of the evening and the exciting work ahead.
“Clinton County can and will become stronger and more appealing to prospective industries and potential homeowners with the inclusion of Ivy Tech as a major educational amenity we have to offer. Lower cost advanced education will be very important to many families in the years ahead. This partnership is the most exciting thing to happen in Clinton County in many years,” Beard said.
According to County Council President Steve Woods, with the Ivy Tech opportunity happening in the midst of the City and County’s 2013 budget process, prioritization of funding is critically important.
“Clearly with this partnership, our governing entities have determined that providing higher education opportunities for our residents is a top priority and a responsible use of taxpayers’ dollars. Our collaboration with Ivy Tech is about strengthening our children and grandchildren’s futures as well as providing for the stability and progress of all of Clinton County,” Woods said.
Enrollment numbers of Clinton and Boone County students who travel to Ivy Tech’s Lafayette campus show there is great potential for a Frankfort-based site:
478 (Fall 2011)
523 (Spring 2012)
227 (Fall 2011)
199 (Spring 2012)
As part of the event agenda, Ivy Tech students will share comments on the benefits of an Ivy Tech education.
According to City and County leaders, specific plans for the capital campaign will be forthcoming.
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.
For questions or interview requests, contact:
Mayor Chris McBarnes: 765-412-8742
City Council President Jim Moyer: 765-652-0687
Clinton County Commissioner Bill Beard: 765-654-6028
Clinton County Council President Steve Woods: 765-654-3546
Ivy Tech Community College – Lafayette Executive Director of Marketing & Communications Tom McCool: 765-269-5133