Urban educational center envisioned

August 4, 2011

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IN HIS July 28 op-ed column “Educate cities back to life,’’ economist Edward L. Glaeser suggests that, in order to prosper, mid-sized cities, particularly those with a high immigrant population, should focus on education. Glaeser calls schooling “the most reliable source of individual and urban success.’’

I agree with Glaeser and his findings and would like to share what Northern Essex Community College is planning for Lawrence, a city that is growing quickly as a result of an influx of immigrants. Northern Essex has had a permanent campus in the city since 1991 when we opened the Dimitry Building on Franklin Street. Since that time some of the college’s premier programs, including our 19 health care associate degrees and certificates, have been located in Lawrence.

Last fall, we opened NECC Riverwalk, a newly renovated mill space on Merrimack Street, and this fall, we will launch a new way of delivering preparation for careers in health care. We are also building an Allied Health & Technology Center in Lawrence, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2013.

We recognize that a fully developed urban college campus, which is what we envision, would be a great boon for the city. It would provide additional opportunities for local residents, a larger pool of skilled workers for local employers, and aesthetically pleasing buildings and open space.

We appreciate Glaeser’s support for education and look forward to proving that “a balance of education and immigration can make Lawrence thrive.’’

Lane A. Glenn
Northern Essex Community College