Commentary: Edmonds College is building for the future

Dr. Amit Singh (Photo courtesy Edmonds College)

We are facing hard times as a local and global community, and as a college it is important, now more than ever, to continue to innovate and provide exceptional value to our students, stakeholders, and community. At Edmonds College, this is part of our mission and a top priority. We’re building for the future by expanding our comprehensive offerings to include four-year degrees as needed for our regional industries, and opening our new $54 million STEM and Nursing building, Hazel Miller Hall.

There is a strong demand for STEM talent in Washington state, with an estimated 79,742 STEM job openings (of about 94,500 family-sustaining jobs that will require a credential) in 2030 according to washingtonstem.org. That’s good news, but the reality is there will be a skills gap. It’s projected only about 34,000 students of the class of 2021 will go on to earn a postsecondary credential without intervention, which means we’ll be facing a significant skills gap in our future workforce. As we look ahead, EC plays a critical role in strengthening and bridging the gap between K-12 and students’ transition to college and pursuit of a postsecondary pathway from apprenticeships and certificates to associate’s and applied bachelor’s degrees.

This fall, we added to our four-year degree offerings with the Information Technology – Application Development Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree. Graduates of this program will be prepared for in-demand, high-wage jobs in software engineering and development. Starting next fall, we’ll offer the Advanced Manufacturing and Materials Science Engineering Technology BAS degree, which was created in partnership with local businesses, such as The Boeing Company, to prepare graduates to work in many manufacturing fields.

I’m also proud to announce the grand opening of two new buildings on campus – Hazel Miller Hall and Triton Court residence hall. Although we’re collectively facing many challenges during this time, the opening of these buildings is an exciting achievement toward the college’s goal of increasing student access and success.

Hazel Miller Hall is a state-of-the-art, 70,000-square-foot building that houses allied health, nursing, physics, chemistry, engineering, and math classrooms, as well as labs and offices. From nursing simulation labs to high-tech engineering and physics labs, students will be immersed in new, innovative learning spaces that will spark their curiosity and prepare them for careers in high-demand fields.

Triton Court is our second and newest residence hall. It offers students a clean, safe, and friendly living environment right across from the main EC campus entrance, and features one-, two-, and three-bedroom units with retail space on the ground floor.

I’d like to personally invite you to the college’s virtual Grand Opening Celebration of Hazel Miller Hall and Triton Court. To celebrate, we will launch a special Virtual Grand Opening Celebration video at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 22. Tune in at edcc.edu/celebrate. The celebration will feature virtual tours of Hazel Miller Hall and Triton Court led by EC students and alumni. I will deliver remarks as well as Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith, EC Board of Trustees Chair Carl Zapora, Vice President for Student Services Christina Castorena, and Dean of STEM Dr. Carey Schroyer.

Please join me in celebrating this achievement and the possibilities it brings for our students to build careers in STEM and create a strong, skilled future workforce.

— By Dr. Amit Singh, President
Edmonds College

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