To The Editor:

Prop J is about providing opportunity to individuals and our community. Currently, growth in our industries is stymied because Warren County does not possess the trained workforce to meet the needs of our employers. A recent survey showed that Warren County employers could place 100 workers in quality jobs with future opportunities if skilled workers were available.

The Greater Warren County Economic Development Council was created with a goal of making Warren County a great place to live and work by supporting job creation. Jobs have been created and now we must take the next step in providing a trained workforce to fill those jobs. Prop J will bring technical training to Warren County. This is critical to retaining current manufacturing jobs and attracting future good paying, skilled jobs.

What is the impact? Our community will have qualified workers who earn good wages. These workers will have opportunities to further enhance their value in the workplace by additional training that will be affordable and available locally. Good jobs provide additional income that is spent locally, enhancing Warren County Main Streets.

The Technical Training Institute will attract students to our community, who will shop and make purchases here. A recent study showed that 93 percent of students attending a community college/tech school stay in the community where they are trained. Employers are attracted to Warren County because we possess a qualified workforce. Because there is more money coming into our community, our schools, parks, public safety, emergency services and other public entities are enhanced. All of these factors contribute to making Warren County an even better place to live and work.

As the plans for the Warren County Technical Training Institute have been developed, we have involved community members from manufacturing, agriculture, education, financial, professional, government, and other sectors to study the needs and make recommendations.

St. Charles Community College has provided expertise and support and has made assurances that the funds raised in Warren County will stay in our community. Our ability to offer quality training is enhanced because they will share the administrative structure that already exists. More of our dollars will go directly to the training needs of our employees.

The need for technical training is being recognized at the state and national levels and they have funds that can be directed to our efforts. Our community has an excellent chance of procuring these funds when we show our commitment to provide local funding through the passage of Prop J.

The need has been justified, the plans have been developed, the partner has been identified, and the time is now. Warren County is on the leading edge of this effort in the state. I invite you to create in your mind a vision for the future where the Warren County Technical Training Institute is the driver in attracting, creating and retaining a qualified workforce that contributes to our community’s growth. I was always taught that there is no free lunch and that sacrifice is sometimes required to obtain a future benefit. The opportunity is out there. Now is the time to invest in our community’s future by voting Yes on Prop J.

Peggy Rodgers

President, Greater Warren County Economic Development

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