Bustos Visits Community Colleges

April  05, 2013

A week-long focus on job creation ended for Congresswoman Cheri Bustos this morning. She stopped at Black Hawk College in Moline, and it was the final stop in a series of appearances at community colleges in the 17th district. 

College officials told her they are strengthening business partnerships. And she can help in Congress by supporting Pell Grants for low income students, and holding down interest rates on student loans.

"We've got unemployment rates that are still higher than any of us would like," said Bustos. "And we think that community colleges are the key to retraining people wh oare either underemployed or unemployed. I think that it's kind of the great equalizer of higher ed."

Black Hawk's Interim Dean of Health Sciences, Betsey Morthland, hopes Bustos has learned what Illinois community colleges are already doing to help students, business, and industry.

"Part of our mission, of course, is certainly to serve our community, and not just provide educational services to students," said Morthland. "But also to be able to supply for our local businesses the type of employees they're going to need down the road." 

Morthland told the Congresswoman Black Hawk College may soon start five new credit programs to meet the healthcare needs of the Quad Cities area.

Also this week, Bustos visited community colleges in Dixon, Rockford, East Peoria, Canton, Freeport, and Galesburg.