EGCC Prepares for Campus Renovations

By Arthur Daly, vice president, EGCC Youngstown Campus 
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Eastern Gateway Community College is completing plans to purchase three downtown buildings it leases by early spring, launching a renovation project that will transform its Youngstown campus.

Estimates for the overall project are $12 million to $15 million, and it will take at least 18 months to complete after the buildings – all on East Boardman Street – are purchased. EGCC is working with the city and Eastgate Regional Council of Governments to determine the campus structure. Our long-term vision is to create a green space, new lighting, sidewalks and to close off access on East Boardman Street.

The Western Reserve Port Authority, which owns one of the buildings housing health and workforce programs, is renovating the second floor to add classroom space. The intent is to increase capacity for programs in growing fields of health care and promote brain gain through local employment.

Expanding programming and student population is transforming Eastern Gateway into one of the fastest growing community colleges in the country. In 2019, EGCC’s enrollment at its Youngstown and Steubenville campuses combined with online courses increased by 47%. The expansion was driven by online enrollees.

A focus on community workforce needs and programming in career fields with in-demand jobs has led to EGCC’s growth. Programs added last year were in phlebotomy, nursing and training so one could obtain a commercial driver’s license. 

Community partnerships and industry/business sectors are guiding new workforce programs to align with employer needs in both health and manufacturing. EGCC also remains flexible to tailor future programs to meet the employment needs of new companies coming to the area.

Programs being developed for 2020 comprise industrial maintenance in partnership with the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition, a registered veterinary technician program in partnership with Angels for Animals as well as cybersecurity and social work.

As the number of jobs in the health-care industry increases, EGCC is developing programs in sonography and magnetic resonance imaging, which are expected to add to student enrollment.

Keeping up with changing technology and training means EGCC staff must be current with industry developments.

 Faculty and administration designing curriculum must be familiar with the latest job postings, résumés, surveys, advisory boards and other sources to ensure programs address needed skills.

In addition to industry partnerships, EGCC continues to partner with secondary education providers to offer college credit programs and provide outreach to attract new enrollees. The number of students enrolling in online courses has spiked the most at EGCC, and such enrollment will heighten course offerings and recruitment efforts for adult and nontraditional learners.

Online courses bring flexibility in education beyond regional boundaries. This has led to Eastern Gateway adding staff, advisers and financial aid coordinators to handle expansion.

Besides the growth at the Youngstown campus, the entire institution has seen significant investment in 2019, including being awarded $836,332 through the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization initiative to provide training at the Tri-State Gateway to Growth Training Center, planned for a site in Steubenville. 

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.