JACKSON — The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College are continuing to provide new opportunities for higher education to the region.
As part of this effort, Rio officially opened its new location for the Rio Grande Jackson Center with a ribbon cutting and open house event Friday. The Jackson Center first opened in the summer of 2015 to offer a close-to-home location for Rio and College Credit Plus students from the Jackson area and was created as part of a consortium funded by the Industry Workforce Alliance Grant. To continue serving the community with more opportunities for higher education, Rio moved into the larger facility during the Spring 2017 semester. Bobbi Montgomery, vice chair of the Rio Grande Community College Board of Trustees and CFO of Montgomery Machine and Fabrication, Inc., said she feels this will bring new opportunities to members of the community.
“Bringing a quality education so close to home at such an affordable price is going to make Jackson a stronger community,” Montgomery said. “Having this level of higher education in the Jackson area overcomes the transportation barrier for people, including our CCP students, and giving them greater access to Rio.”
The ribbon cutting ceremony marked the move and growth of the Jackson Center as the staff and faculty prepare for the beginning of the center’s third year in the community. Rio President, Dr. Michelle Johnston, said she is excited to see the re-location project officially completed and ready for classes to begin.
“We are all excited to make the new location official for the Rio Grande Jackson Center. This is a great opportunity for Rio to continue making higher education accessible and affordable to our community,” Johnston said. “Everyone has worked so hard to get the building fully remodeled and ready for the upcoming school year. I am proud of the staff and faculty and look forward to seeing all of the exciting things coming from the Jackson Center.”
After the ribbon cutting ceremony, the faculty and staff hosted an open house for the community to tour the new facility and learn more about the programs and classes offered at the new location. Montgomery said another reason she is excited to see the new Jackson Center officially opened is the opportunity to bring new businesses and jobs to the area.
“A trained and ready workforce is the number one reason for a company to locate in a community. As another bonus, we were able to fill an empty building in Jackson, which is always exciting for a community,” Montgomery said. “Employers are looking to fill skill gaps in the workforce, so in order to grow and bring new employment opportunities to the area, we have to have a trained workforce. Having Rio in Jackson County will help to bridge those gaps and make our community a stronger place.”
For more information on the Rio Grande Jackson Center, contact 740-288-0284, or visit the new location at 980 East Main Street Jackson, Ohio 45640.
Jessica Patterson is a communications specialist with URG.