It’s a big day at Lorain County Community College as our LCCC and University Partnership students begin a new semester and academic year.

And while every academic year is special, this one holds a very unique designation. This year, we celebrate 60 years of Lorain County Community College serving our community. The students beginning classes today continue a long tradition of building a better future for themselves and our community through higher education.

Since 1963, we’ve remained true to our mission to provide affordable, quality education and workforce training to our community. Over the years, one in four Lorain County residents have taken a class at LCCC and more than 45,000 have earned a degree. The LCCC University Partnership provides access to bachelor’s and graduate degrees from 14 Ohio colleges, all here at the LCCC campus and at a fraction of the cost. After graduation, LCCC alumni fuel our economy as 90% of LCCC grads live and work in the Northeast Ohio region.

To ensure our graduates are prepared for the ever-changing demands of local industries, LCCC maintains close relationships with hundreds of area employers. As industry needs evolve, so do the curricula of LCCC’s academic programs and workforce training. All this adds up to a skilled talent pool for employers and good paying jobs for our graduates.

Keith Adkins knows this firsthand. After working retail for several years, the 36-year-old Elyria native was ready for a change. He came to LCCC, where he turned his hobby of computers into an associate degree in network communications technology. Along the way, he found support in the Students Accelerating in Learning (SAIL) program, and utilized the LCCC Children’s Learning Center for his young son. While a student, Keith began an internship in the IT department at University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center. He excelled in the internship and recently accepted a full-time position at the hospital. Learn more about Keith.

Keith Adkins wearing graduation regalia
Keith Adkins

LCCC graduate Amanda Badillo, 22, also landed a dream career at a local hospital after earning her LCCC degree. In the midst of the pandemic, Amanda followed her passion for helping others and enrolled at LCCC with the goal of becoming a registered nurse. In May 2023, she earned her associate degree in nursing and was awarded the Florence Nightingale Student Nurse Award for Nursing Excellence. After passing the NCLEX-RN, Amanda accepted a position as an operating room nurse at Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital. Learn more about Amanda.

Amanda Badillo holds a stethescope
Amanda Badillo

Success stories like Keith and Amanda’s abound, and LCCC’s impact continues to grow. Earlier this year, LCCC was profiled in a book by Harvard University’s Project on Workforce for LCCC’s contribution to regional economic growth and opportunity. The book, “America’s Hidden Economic Engines: How Community Colleges Can Drive Shared Prosperity,” explores the ways in which forward-thinking community colleges are designing and implementing new solutions to both adapt to critical needs in the U.S. economy and create new pathways to opportunity for a diverse range of learners.

Our commitment to strengthening the local economy is at the core of who we are as an institution, and I’m honored to help to amplify the vital role community colleges serve as economic engines for job growth and advancing individual and family prosperity.

It is my wish that the students beginning classes today fully immerse themselves in all their community college has to offer. From employer-connected pathways and streamlined academic programs, to holistic support services and a vibrant campus, we are helping students build the future of their dreams. That’s been our goal for the past 60 years and remains our focus as we prepare for the next 60 years and beyond.

Click below to watch the video I shared with students this morning.