Archuleta County is looking for opportunities to diversify its economic base by targeting new business/industry clusters that would offer a higher annualized and sustainable wage structure, elevate the employment opportunities to attract a broader population to live in this county, add business to a one-dimensional tourist based economy and attract and retain a younger workforce.
Last year, El Pomar Regional Partnerships Initiative awarded The Archuleta County Education Center (ACEC) a $25,000 matched grant that would allow the ACEC and collaborative partners to create the design and operational master plan for a strategic, innovative and scalable rural learning network. The ACEC is pursuing the creation of a state-of-the-practice “telepresence” infrastructure that would enable our rural, isolated community to actively participate in real-time education and training programming.
A feasibility study, currently underway, will document the network technology configuration requirements at each “content” site and will provide the justification for an enabling grant application to fund the networks infrastructure. ACEC is moving aggressively to expand postsecondary offerings by creating a network of “content” providers that will deliver college level courses and programs through Cisco Systems latest TelePresence visual communications technology. The network will include Fort Lewis College, Colorado State University, San Juan College (Farmington), Pueblo Community College, ACEC and other higher education institutions around the nation.
This exciting initiative, plus others, will be presented at the eighth annual luncheon for the Archuleta County Education Center, which will be held Wednesday, March 25, starting at 11:45 a.m. at Center Point Church on U.S. 160.
This annual ACEC event has a twofold purpose. One, it serves as a fund-raiser for the organization that operates a budget of nearly $500,000 to plan and execute the variety of educational programs that are offered for all ages of people in this community. Secondly, it serves to inform and engage ourselves of the purpose, successes, and priority of enriching and educating people within our community.
The community is invited to purchase tickets for a donation of $50 each and people can put together a table of eight. This is an event that will enlighten you to some of the trials that ordinary people go through, the steps people take to help themselves or help others and will make you proud of your community. The ACEC Board has planned an exciting format during the luncheon which will highlight the initiatives that the ACEC will be launching this year.
Current programs offered by the ACEC include tutoring and enrichment programs for K-eighth grades, adult learning opportunities like GED and ESL training and a vast array of community classes that are offered year-round. The ACEC also operates the Archuleta County High School which is currently serving 25 students who are working toward their diploma or GED and an online educational component for other non-traditional school-aged students.
For more information, call the ACEC at 264-2835.