A true commitment to Lynn

October 5, 2016

David Erazo, left, and Miguel Vasquez, right, of Salem Glass prepare the front of the 40,000-foot expansion at North Shore Community College for windows. (Item file photo)

North Shore Community College is building a new Lynn campus addition to ease an enrollment crunch. But the ongoing construction project visible to anyone driving or walking on Broad Street is a giant advertisement for the city’s possibilities and potential.

Once it is completed, the addition will feature a curved front entrance to the college with a modern design rivaling the one defining the entrance to the All Care Visiting Nurse Association building located across the street from the Lynn campus.

Just as the VNA is an organization dedicated to keeping its workforce in Lynn, North Shore Community College is a state institution committed to expanding in the city and giving students more reasons to pursue learning in Lynn.

A lot of people have worked hard to underscore the college’s success and the important role it plays in the lives of local residents and anyone who understands the value of higher education.

The timing involved in expanding the Lynn campus could not be more perfect. Providing inexpensive, if not free, entry-level college education opportunities has been a discussion in the presidential race and a priority focused on by state educators.

Gov. Charlie Baker kicked off College Awareness Month this week to promote opportunities at public colleges and universities. Baker’s attended a “Go Higher” event in Springfield but he could have easily have headlined the event in Lynn.

The governor’s commuting route to Boston takes him past the Lynn campus, and the construction visible on the college grounds is a testament to well-spent tax dollars. The Baker administration pledged to support community colleges through a new “Commonwealth Commitment” intended to promote more college opportunities and help students pay for college.

Lynn is a model community for demonstrating how well this initiative can work. North Shore Community College and Salem State University share a strong working relationship. Lynn public schools and the Lynn campus have succeeded in recruiting high school students serious enough about their educations to get a jump start on college.

The college has also forged a partnership with Lynn schools and the North Shore Workforce Investment Board aimed at addressing the education and employment needs of local residents and looking into the future to find ways to improve the city’s economy.

North Shore Community College President Patricia A. Gentile and top college officials view the Lynn campus as a place to learn, a place to forge partnerships and as an engine to help Lynn