Napa Valley College has a proud 75-year history of service to the community, first as a training center for military jobs during World War II, and ever since, as an institution that provides affordable, quality education that prepares our local workforce and sends students to four-year colleges and universities throughout our nation.

Today, amid an uncertain economic and political climate, Napa Valley College continues to plan for the future and enhance our legacy of supporting students and investing in our community.

At last Wednesday’s Legislative Breakfast hosted by the college board of trustees, we heard encouraging words from elected federal, state and local leaders about the value of public education to the local economy, regardless of politics.

As educators, we simply want to continue providing local students with job and academic training for the future and a 21st century education – but, as community partners, we need to continue to work with the community to do so.

In an effort to prioritize our student and teaching facilities’ needs, district leaders have been asking the community what it would like to see the college do to improve access, job training and academic advancement.

We are pleased to report that, according to an August 2017 independent survey by Godbe Research commissioned by NVC, residents want safety improvements, technological upgrades and career/veteran training programs.

Top priorities include repairing and upgrading vocational classrooms and training centers for 21st century jobs, modernizing science labs and classrooms for job training in technology, computers and engineering, repairing or replacing leaky roofs, and updating classrooms and educational facilities to meet current earthquake, fire and safety codes.

The survey also evaluated community interest in a potential educational local funding measure. Up to 57.4 percent of respondents indicated potential support for a local bond to continue making repairs, upgrades and modernizing the college for successful student career preparation and university transfer, including improved veterans’ services, career technical education in the trades and healthcare, and updated science, technology, and engineering classrooms and labs.

Although we hear support from local leaders who spoke at Wednesday’s Legislators Breakfast, and see from survey results that the community values what we do, we want to hear more feedback from as many residents as possible about their priorities for the future of Napa Valley College. The district will continue to solicit community input over the coming months before any decision is made regarding a local education bond.

In the meantime, let me be clear: Although no decision has been made by the college board regarding a bond measure, the needs are real. That’s why we’ll continue to plan and why we look forward to engaging with the community in the New Year.

For the facts about the final report of community survey results, please visit the college website at www.napavalley.edu. Under “News,” please select Community Survey Results Press Release and/or Highlights of the 2017 Community Survey. Thank you.

Ronald Kraft, President

Napa Valley College

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