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Voting Is A Right That Cannot Be Taken For Granted

For years, former Mayor Sam Teresi lobbied for Jamestown Community College to be elevated to a four-year university. Teresi noted Jamestown is the single-largest urban area in the state without a four-year university or college. It is the only city among the top 10 New York population centers without a four-year college.

“Today, 21st-century businesses trade in and often rise and fall on access to so-called ‘intellectual capital,'” Teresi told The Post-Journal back in 2015, adding that higher level colleges help to draw skilled individuals and enrich the area through cultural, social and recreational standpoints.

Assemblyman Anddrew Goodell, R-Jamestown, said at the time that perhaps JCC and the state University at Fredonia should partner so courses resulting in four-year degrees could be offered in Jamestown.

How prescient those words are after learning that it wasn’t primarily taxes or space that led Truck-Lite to leave its Falconer headquarters — it was Erie and Penn State-Behrend’s steady stream of electrical engineers, data scientists and business leaders.

Truck-Lite will build two research labs in the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Center: a 1,745-square-foot product-modeling lab and a 4,075-square-foot photometric testing facility, which will be used to study the light emitted by LEDs, lamps and other devices. Truck-Lite has sponsored student research projects in the Penn-State Behrend School of Engineering since 2006 and later opened an innovation center at Knowledge Park.

We have seen, over the years, how our area has struggled to provide local companies with the types of employees they need — whether it’s a lack of engineers, skilled trades or employees with the soft skills to work in tourism and retail jobs.

Creating an education system that turns out the type of human capital that can lead to a 21st century economy needs to happen in Jamestown. Frankly, it’s been long overdue.

But until the Jamestown area turns out a steady stream of the types of workers companies need, it will never break its decades-long trend of economic contraction.

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