Our Opinion: Closing campuses is a step backward for Nevada | NevadaAppeal.com

Our Opinion: Closing campuses is a step backward for Nevada

The Nevada Appeal Editorial Board

One of the keys to economic development, we’re told again and again, is an educated workforce.

That’s one of the most important factors companies look for when they are picking a place to establish a business.

That’s why we invest in our universities and colleges, because they produce an educated workforce. In the case of Western Nevada College, an educated workforce doesn’t just mean people who are proficient in English or math, or who have studied economics or geology.

It means people who have learned how to handle a welding torch. It means people who can work a lathe or build a house. It means the people who can keep the basic infrastructure of society operating, from law enforcement to emergency medicine to geographical information.

Western Nevada College turns out nurses and graphic artists, along with those folks who will eventually move on to higher education at the universities.

In other words, it’s not just a valuable part of Western Nevada’s economies, it’s a critical part.

We know that the budget picture looks grim this year, but we also know the danger of closing an entire college. We call on the Nevada System of Higher Education regents to preserve all of Nevada’s campuses in some form through this storm. It will be far easier to regrow Nevada’s higher education from multiple seeds than to try and restore them from what’s left of the university system.