One Cumberland: Reaching for Higher, Fulfilling Our Potential

Cumberland County is an exceptional community. These were the exact words of Google executive, Steve Vinter, who was one of two keynote speakers at our recent Business Leaders’ Summit. Vinter joined the community for an intimate dinner the evening before the conference and a community leaders breakfast the morning after. Impressed with the business leaders, politicians and students with whom he met, he promised to come back next year. Similarly, Michelle Drolet, CEO of Towerwall—an information security company—asked why she hadn’t heard of Cumberland before. The event also showcased our best talent in the county, a range of entrepreneurs and their businesses, and our two hospital networks: Inspira and Complete Care.

The leaders who attended the breakfast spoke of the role that Cumberland County College can play as a convener and facilitator for helping the community reach its potential. Beyond educating students, as a community college, part of our mission is to help advance the economic vitality of the county by securing resources for our businesses and engaging in activities tailored to the specific needs of the community.

By working together as one cohesive community, being inclusive, and approaching our work with the understanding that we can set high goals for ourselves and attain them through collaborative efforts, we can excel at the College and as a county.

Over the next few months, Cumberland County College will be developing its strategic plan for 2018-2023. This is an opportunity for us to articulate our goals and map our strategy for high performance on traditional indicators such as increasing enrollment and graduation. It is also an opportunity for us to authentically engage the external community around the College’s role in supporting a stronger, more economically vibrant Cumberland that is not at or near the bottom of key socioeconomic indicators in the state. We will need your insights and feedback.

We know that Cumberland County, as a community, has immense potential. We know that. It is also validating when others visit and can see the unrealized potential that we know we can unlock. Our time is now, Cumberland!

Previously published on thedailyjournal.com on April 26, 2017.

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