SHAMOKIN DAM, Pa. — Officials with the Susquehanna Valley Community Education Project gathered in Shamokin Dam to address the media about a potential new community college coming to central Pennsylvania. At the news conference, it was announced that Marywood University from the Scranton area will be partnering with the group.
"We believe that this community college will meet the needs of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. That was the statement I heard from the Marywood University team when we met with them," said Lenaire Ahlum of the Susquehanna Valley Community Education Project.
This partnership is a huge stepping stone in the process of opening the only community college in the region.
"A university partner, an incubation partner who can help us have accreditation on day one. That is one of the most exciting pieces of this puzzle today," said Meghan Beck, the president of SVCEP.
"Yes, we will help you to do this. We know how to do it and we will be happy to join our mission with your strong mission to help the people of this region," said Sr. Mary Persico, the president and CEO of Marywood University.
An economic study done by the group over the past decade shows a new community college would bring around $80 million to the region over the next ten years.
"One of our largest hindrances to economic growth is that quality workforce, that educated workforce that we desperately need. I can say from this viewpoint that our own independent regional community college is what we need at this time," said David Nowroski, the treasurer of the SVCEP
Officials say there is no set location yet for where the community college would go but they tell Newswatch 16 that they do have their eyes set on the city of Sunbury.
"Our expectations are that it will probably be located in Sunbury, most of our studies show that that is probably the most advantageous place to launch," said Beck.
Officials hope to have the new community college opened by 2023 but require funding from Montour, Snyder, Union, and Northumberland Counties before the plans can move forward.