Groups Protest Over Community College Partnership Plan
Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper’s plan to partner with the Northern Pennsylvania Regional College is now being met with opposition.
On Monday, members of the groups People for a Livable Erie, Erie County United, Keystone Progress Erie, the NAACP, the Urban Erie Community Development Corporation, and community members gathered outside of the Erie County Courthouse, to voice their frustrations with the partnership plan.
The county originally submitted an application to the state to establish its own community college.
However, under the partnership, the county would purchase a facility in Erie and would then lease it to the NPRC.
"You can look at what they've done, and it's pretty easy to see that model will not work here in Erie.” said concerned citizen E-Jay Fyke.
Those against the current plan, say it's not a true community college.
They want the county to have its own standalone facility, without the NPRC’s involvement.
"A better way for Erie, PA, is a college with buildings where people can go and get help, that's culturally sensitive to the multi-diverse population in Erie.” Said NAACP of Erie President Gary Horton.
The NPRC is based out of Warren, Pennsylvania, and is currently in its second year.
It does not have its own campus.
Instead, students attend classes at multiple sites throughout nine counties.
A model of education, those in opposition say won't work in Erie.
"Right now, as the NPRC stands, you go to Gannon and you sit in a room, and you learn on a television,” said Fyke. “How is a welder supposed to do that? How is a plumber supposed to do that? How is a vet tech supposed to do that? So, that's why we don't believe it's a deal."
Erie News Now reached out to county Dahlkemper's office for her reaction to the protest.
However, we're told she was unavailable to provide any comment.