April is National Community College Awareness Month, and as a proud member of the Blue Mountain Community College Board of Education, I would like to take a moment to remind the community of the impact BMCC has on our region.

If you’ve ever been treated by a nurse at Good Shepherd Medical Center, you were most likely seen by a BMCC graduate. BMCC’s nursing students not only had a 100 percent pass rate this past year on their national board exams, but most earned jobs right away. That’s one of the great benefits of an education at BMCC – many of the educational programs feed directly into jobs in our local communities.

BMCC also strives to make education attainable by anyone in our region. Students from across our 18,000-square-mile district can earn an associate’s degree online or in one of our convenient regional centers, such as the Eastern Oregon Higher Education Center in Hermiston. The new Precision Irrigated Agriculture Center on OSU’s Hermiston Agriculture Research and Education Center is another way BMCC is creating accessibility to training needed in our region.

BMCC and its students also contribute significantly to our local economy. For every $1 a student invests on a BMCC education, they receive a $3.70 return in career earnings. Now that’s a wise investment! Our students also add back approximately $3.7 million back into our local economy through rent, groceries, transportation and other living expenses. That’s in addition to the approximately $23 million net impact of college payroll and expenses which our employees contribute annually back into our service district economy.

I hope you’ll stop by a BMCC location to see what Blue can do for you.

Don Rice

Hermiston

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