Thursday, October 8, 2009

2009 ACCT Leadership Congress: California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Emphasizes Value of Workforce Education

One of Santa Monica College’s most famous alumni kicked off the 2009 ACCT Leadership Congress with a reminder that the work of community colleges has become even more important during the current economic crisis.

“I call community colleges institutions of hope,” said Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger , who left Sacramento in the midst of contentious legislative negotiations to open the Congress Thursday morning. “You provide hope to the laid-off father who needs to provide for his family... the young woman turned away from the university... the budding entrepreneur who wants to go out and create a business... or to immigrants like myself who want to learn the language and be successful. That’s what community colleges represent -- hope.”

At the same time, Schwarzenegger cautioned that given the current economic climate, “you’ll be asked to do more with less, just like the private sector... But I have absolute faith in community colleges, and faith in all of you.” He urged trustees to share innovative ideas and continue to emphasize their critical role in workforce education.

Schwarzenegger began taking classes in English, business, and mathematics at Santa Monica College shortly after arriving in the U.S. in 1968.

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