By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) launched new programming this fall, offering a Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Certificate training program, as well as Photovoltaic Training, English as a second language, and general education classes at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School (AVRTHS) in Marlborough. Options include day and evening classes and credit or non-credit/certificate credentials.
AVRTHS students with an interest in those areas have an opportunity to complete their first two years of college in the same building in which they attended high school. The HVAC certification program is designed to get both high school students and adults into the work force quickly.
QCC President Gail Carberry announced the new program at a gathering of Marlborough and area business leaders earlier this year.
“We are currently facing a knowledge-based economy and Massachusetts is positioned to thrive on its brainpower,” she said.
Carberry thanked the Leadership Team consisting of members of the local business community, elected officials, AVRTHS staff, Nichols College personnel, Marlborough Chamber of Commerce leaders and members, as well as QCC faculty and staff for their dedication and partnership. She added,
“Creative solutions require strong partnerships,” she added.
Jack Cutone, who is on the Board of Directors of the local Chamber of Commerce and also a teacher of economics and business at QCC, said the idea started over three years ago when he was asked by Carberry to participate in a Quality Team. The team was asked to identify ways the college could improve its outreach to communities.
“A new vice president, Dale Allen, was hired and he eventually became a member of the chamber Board of Directors,” Cutone said.
In the interim, Superintendent of Assabet Mary Jo Nawrocki attended a meeting with Chamber President and CEO Susanne Morreale-Leeber and Cutone, and she expressed interest in adding a 13th and a 14th grade at her school.
“This was the perfect opening,” Cutone said. “The chamber set up a meeting between Mary Jo and Dave Allen and the push began.”
A Leadership Team was formed that assisted Allen in his market analysis by gathering data, surveying high school students, business employers and a local adult population for responses on higher education options, gaps in training for businesses and job opportunities for skilled employees. The results were conclusive that there was a need for a higher education facility in the area.
“Having Quinsigamond Community College in Marlborough provides opportunities for local and residents of all ages to continue their education locally,” Morreale-Leeber said. “I am very happy that the chamber helped to make this happen for the betterment of the region.”
“The initial launch of courses this past September was viewed by both QCC and Assabet as being a tremendous success,” Cutone said. “The spring semester shows even more promise as the word gets out.”
QCC is hoping one day to have its own campus in the city – 20,000-plus square feet of classroom space – and to have it able to offer a broad range of courses from basics like mathematics and English to a wide variety of career training areas.
“This is a great resource for local industry in assisting the constant changing skills required by today's global economy,” Cutone added.
Quinsigamond Community College