Quentin Pardon
Assistant Editor

Lorain County Community College is placing a 2.3-mil 10-year levy due to the speed of change within the economy, to keep up with the highest standard of Ohio education. 

The Lorain County Community District Board of Trustees is holding an issue on Mar. 17 to update the general operating levy which expires later in the year in Dec. This issue LCCC is currently under represents 12 percent of the college’s operating budget. The goal is not only to renew the existing 1.8 millage offered but also add an extra .5 tax rate which will equal to an additional amount of $1.46 per month per $100,000 in property value and add to the current budget. “Per year, it currently around $12 million and with the increase it will bring in $15 million” said Vice President for Strategic and Institutional Development Tracy Green. “Every dollar the taxpayer pay, $14 will go back into the economy.”

More opportunities near 

 “If the levy is renewed for a whole new decade, many more opportunities are due in the near future,” said  Green. “In the past few years we had made huge steps in developing our programs and technology. One of our biggest breakthroughs was improving the Campana Center. Our students here have one of the best and most importantly convenient opportunities to learn and thrive in the community they live in.”

“State funding has changed a lot over the years. 10 years ago it used to be based on pure enrollment. In 2012, the state decided to change it to performance based funding. Ohio was the second state in the country to move towards 100 percent performance based funding. So not only does it mean its based on enrollment, it also means completing courses, certificates and degrees. For a number of years, Ohio was not increasing or decreasing its funding. Just recently, they modestly infused one percent into the last budget for higher education due to our success rate,” said Green.

LCCC has been locally supported since 1963, when the first general operating levy was passed that created this campus as the first community college in the state of Ohio. LCCC is the college of first choice for the entire community, and has served one in four county residents, impacting greater than 50 percent of Lorain County households. At 61 percent, Lorain County high school graduates start their college experience with LCCC. In 2019, 43 percent of all Lorain County high school graduates earned some college credit from LCCC before high school graduation, saving families $6.5 million in college costs. LCCC serves more than 10,000 students enrolling each year, along with 3,000 plus students taking University Partnership courses to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Students and families served by LCCC benefit from affordable tuition, among the lowest in the state.

“Can create more jobs” 

 “The ability we have here can create more jobs for the surrounding area for which we live in. It would be a great loss for the levy to fail. A large number of programs and advancements on upcoming projects will either be lost or postponed due to lack of funds.” Green continued.  “Every time one of our students graduate, get a job and then continue to better their careers, it’ll give back to the college and the community.”

Critical to the economy

 LCCC is critical to the economy, delivering programs that people need to prepare for the jobs of today in healthcare, information technology, engineering, advanced manufacturing, skilled trades and business. Additionally, LCCC partners with area employers to keep our workforce up to date.  Over 85 percent of LCCC graduates live and work in the region, and has the highest student success rate of any community college in Ohio and is recognized nationally. 

LCCC’s impact has grown 94 percent in number of individuals earning degrees and certificates since 2011, the campus produces the most highly trained first-responders that keep our community safe and healthy, serves everyone in our community: taking care of veterans as they return home; and delivers programs for seniors, youth and businesses that keep our community strong. 

Without this issue, LCCC would be forced to cut the budget by 12 percent which means we would have to reduce existing programs and cease the development of new training programs for jobs in our region. “Every time one of our students graduate, get a job and then continue to better their career, it’ll give back to the college and the community,” said Green.

The funds from the issue will be used for:

• Keeping education affordable and high quality

  Keep university transfer programs strong 

•Protect College Credit Plus 

• Develop new programs and services people need to succeed in high demand fields like healthcare, technology, advanced manufacturing, public safety, engineering and business

• Keep Technology and labs up to date