Ken Brenner: Educating future workers

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Ken Brenner

Election 2011

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Editor's note: Ken Brenner is running against John Fielding for the District 5 slot on Colorado Mountain College's board of trustees.

I believe Colorado Mountain College is an integral part of our local community and will play an important role in the economic recovery for Northwest Colorado. CMC can assist our K-12 public schools by increasing learning opportunities for young adults using dual-enrollment options. CMC can be a strong partner in our local economy by offering re-education and training for a 21st-century workforce. CMC can be a leader in the effort to increase our telecommunications infrastructure and broadband capacity that nearly all residents and businesses rely on.

A strong public education system is the cornerstone of a great long-term economic development strategy. We are retraining our workforce for tomorrow’s jobs. Most jobs for the new economy require a technology skilled workforce. Providing that training is an opportunity for CMC.

I was on the Steamboat Springs City Council for eight years, served as its president, was the city’s representative to Colorado Association of Ski Towns and also ran for the state Senate in 2008. I am from a third-generation Routt County ranch family. Public service has given me a thorough understanding of how our local government, schools, business and community can all work together to solve common problems.

Northwest Colorado is very fortunate to have a four-year college opportunity to offer its residents. A baccalaureate degree is an important next step in the evolution of the CMC school system. CMC has been constructing new facilities around its campuses. The new 60,000-square-foot building with classrooms, offices and an auditorium on Steamboat’s Alpine Campus is an example of CMC’s commitment to education in Northwest Colorado. CMC can continue to evolve by being a strong partner for public schools, business and local government as we recover from today’s struggling economy.

CMC has been managed responsibly in the past but will face the same challenges as everyone else as revenues will decrease with declining property tax and state support. I support the board’s past policy of having little or no debt and paying for new construction with cash.

In 2008 I knocked on more than 26,000 doors in Northwest Colorado during my state Senate campaign. I learned much about our mountain communities and understand how important CMC is to our mountain communities.

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