Education is more important than ever. Many businesses will not interview job prospects for some jobs without a degree. Many jobs are going unfulfilled; a dearth of applicants bedevil hiring managers across the country.

Many workers today are expected to change jobs up to seven times during their working years. The Greatest Generation and the succeeding Boomers had careers and worked hard to create a life promised by the American dream. The grandchilden of the Boomer Generation have different perspectives on work. 

Many fields of employment are seeing a decline in the number of applicants. Law and medical schools have fewer applicants today than 20 years ago. There is a critical nurse shortage.The trucking industry is in dire need of drivers. 

In the 21st century, education is geared toward preparing students for employment. Locally, our high schools have added technical courses and the Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC) in northeast Salem is a leader in preparing students for living wage jobs in a variety of fields.

Chemeketa Community College has always been at the forefront of offering courses that lead to skilled jobs. 

The new Agriculture Complex, which will open soon, will give students comprehensive studies in an industry that is vital to Oregon. Farming is more sophisicated than ever and preparing future farmers with a state-of-the-art education will enure our region remains a leader in agricultural science. For more than 50 years, Chemeketa has been one of the premier schools in agricultural education, especially in the areas of leadership and farm business.

The newest area of study at Chemeketa is Diesel Technology, a field that sees demand increase as many current technicians enter their retirement years. Once a student completes the course, they will be in high demand. 

In all of its technical study areas Chemeketa has fostered tight partnerships with private businesses, who know that being involved means they are helping educate and train their future employees.

Chemeketa Community College is not just a technical school. It offers a number of degree programs. Many high school graduates opt to attend community college for two years and then transfer to a four-year university to finish their education. 

President Dr. Jessica Howard and the Board of Education are all also dedicated to making Chemeketa Community College a school where people can augment their education to further their careers or where students can prepare for a career in their chosen profession.

Chemeketa is a gem in our educational system and will continue to meet the needs of students and industry alike.

        -—LAZ