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July 27, 2010 > Community supports Ohlone College's job training role and bond needs

Community supports Ohlone College's job training role and bond needs

Submitted By Gosia Gizycky

Sixty-seven percent of respondents in a survey of voters in the Ohlone College district agreed that they would support an Ohlone College Job Training and Quality Education Local Funding Bond Measure if placed on the ballot this November. In a recently commissioned survey conducted in June by the respected opinion research firm FM3 Research, a potential bond measure garnered support from 67 percent of voters in the Tri-City community. These results represent a significant increase in support from a preliminary opinion survey conducted last year, and are well over the 55 percent threshold needed for a bond measure to pass.

"I'm extremely gratified by the strong support in our community for access to affordable education during the toughest economic conditions ever faced by this generation," said Dr. Gari Browning, Ohlone College President. "Our community understands the need for Ohlone to continue to provide affordable education, job training, and re-training during these difficult economic times. With events like the closing of NUMMI, our community needs Ohlone College more than ever. We are committed to making the necessary and essential upgrades to our campus to continue meeting student and community needs."

The survey found that a whopping 88 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that Ohlone College provides an affordable education for students preparing to transfer to UC and other state university systems. Survey respondents placed high priorities on the need to improve campus safety, disabled access, and technology in a proposed bond measure. Respondents expressed strong support for addressing necessary safety issues such as improving earthquake safety, and installing additional fire safety equipment and ventilation systems. Respondents also considered acquiring up-to-date technology for classrooms and improving access for the disabled as high-priority projects.

"Our community clearly understands the needs of Ohlone's Fremont campus, much of which is close to 40 years old," Dr. Browning said. "A local bond measure will address current and future demand for affordable, accessible quality education by increasing Ohlone's enrollment capacity by 25 percent over the next 15 years. Due to the increased demands for Ohlone College's affordable classes, hundreds of students have been turned away recently, as classes are overflowing. At the same time, budget cuts have forced a 50 percent reduction in the number of summer school classes."

At its meeting of July 14, 2010, the Ohlone College Board of Trustees reviewed the final results of the community survey and voted to place a local bond measure on the November 2010 ballot to address these community needs.

For more information, please contact Patrice Birkedahl, Public Information Officer at (510) 659-6208 or by email pbirkedahl@ohlone.edu. For questions regarding survey methodology, contact Curt Below with FM3 Research at (510) 451-9521.

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