4Cs deserves a pat on the back

Remember the "Silicon Sandbar" - NOT...Cape Cod Community College has four-and-a-half million reasons to smile

A big smile for Cape Cod Community College

4Cs has 4.4 million reasons to smile

Cape Cod Community College’s $2.5 million grant from the federal government is good news indeed for the aviation technology program that will launch next year. Coupled with the $1.9 million 4Cs received from the legislature for the new program, the school has now brought $4.4 million to bear on technical career training programs in recent months.

Training for real jobs

4Cs president Dr. John Cox told us in July that Boeing alone is forecasting 600,000 airframe/power plant jobs worldwide in the next decade.

The college saw a need, designed a program, devised partnerships, made an end run around the bureaucrats and brought home $4.5 million – all enabling their new program to take off in just a year’s time.

This is a fine exercise in entrepreneurship. Not only will the program be up and running in near record time, there appear to be plenty of jobs available for graduates upon completion.

Managing expectations

We note that 4Cs has managed expectations quite well concerning the new program. President Cox makes it abundantly clear that the jobs for which they’re training students are global positions. While there may be some Cape-side opportunities in this field, it’s likely that most of the graduates will be employed elsewhere.

Also, nobody at 4Cs is implying that Boeing is going to open a facility on the Cape or that employers will flock to the Cape because of the airframe/power plant program. They do expect that this will be a “destination” program that will attract students from across the county. Those visiting students will spend money in our economy, perhaps help out our lodging and dining establishments during the off-season.

Cape Cod Community College has been nothing but realistic in its expectations for the new aviation technology program.

Remember the "Silicon Sandbar"?

4Cs' realistic expectations are a contrast to the high hopes some people have for Bridgewater State University’s new satellite campus in South Yarmouth. Over the weekend I heard someone going on about how the university would have new employers flocking to the Cape to hire graduates of the South Yarmouth campus.

Really? It would be wonderful but it’s no more realistic than the “Silicon Sandbar” concept that was floated over a decade ago. Cape Cod’s housing is too expensive, air transportation too inconvenient and the employee pool is too shallow for major corporations to come flocking here. Moreover, local tech startups that end up being acquired by global corporations usually end up leaving the Cape.

We note that this “Bridgewater hype” is not coming from the university itself but from well-meaning politicians and others outside the university. BSU knows better than to make such leaps.

4.4 million reasons to smile

4Cs President Cox – and many citizens on Cape Cod - have 4.4 million reasons to smile over the successful funding of the airframe/power plant program. Students in this program will be trained for jobs that actually exist and at which they can earn a more than adequate wage.

Certainly it’s a loss to the Cape as more of our young people will head over the bridges – or around the globe – for these aviation technology jobs. However 4Cs will be sending them out into the world with a solid skill set that should keep them well-employed for a long time.

For those who travel here to study in the aviation tech program, this is a splendid opportunity to introduce them to Cape Cod. The odds are that graduates will come back to 4Cs for continued training as aviation technology advances – and that many will discover the joy of vacationing on the Cape. Let’s hope they come back often and bring the family, too.

We applaud President Cox for his vision and creativity in advancing this new program.

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