Bond bill good answer to higher ed needs

As York Technical College celebrates its 50th anniversary year, I want to take this opportunity to thank the citizens of York, Chester and Lancaster counties for their support of our mission to strengthen our community by helping students realize their career and personal aspirations.

In the past few years, our community has not only survived the greatest recession in our lifetimes, we also have thrived. We are greatly blessed with a growing economy, due in no small part to committed and united local leaders who have worked hard to position and promote our community as one of the best places in the United States to build or expand a business.

York Tech is very proud to have been a key player in nearly every major new business location and expansion that has occurred over the past 50 years. We are humbled by the opportunity to have such a significant impact on the local quality of life, and we are grateful for the growth that has resulted at the college as a result.

Of course, growth comes at a cost. Every year we must endeavor to keep tuition low, provide outstanding service, maintain our campus and assure that the equipment in our labs and classrooms is at the leading edge of technology. We hold firm to our commitment to meet the needs of both our students and our partners in the business community, yet staying ahead of the curve can come with a staggering price tag.

An attractive solution to our funding challenges has come in the form of a higher-education bond bill being proposed in the state Legislature. I wish to publicly thank the legislators who have initiated the process for providing capital funding for the state’s universities and technical colleges.

There are many advantages to bond funding: The proposed bill will not require additional general appropriations in the state budget; it will not raise taxes; and it will not affect South Carolina’s outstanding credit rating. It provides critical funds to ensure that our state’s institutions of higher learning, including York Tech, can continue to provide a highly qualified work force for our business partners and maintain a competitive environment for economic prosperity.

It is my sincere wish that the leaders and citizens of our community – the greatest community I have ever known – will show that they believe in the continued growth of York Technical College, our region and our state through support of the funding necessary for our critical mission.

Dr. Greg F. Rutherford is president of York Technical College in Rock Hill.