July 12, 2017

QCC moves towards Blackstone Valley campus

Former QCC President Gail Carberry (left) shakes hands with Jeannie Hebert, president and CEO of the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce.

After a 20-year wait, Quinsigamond Community College announced in June it is expanding into the Blackstone Valley, with eventual plans to open a campus there.

The first initiative is a new internet learning cafe at Alternatives Unlimited, Inc. in Whitinsville, where students, clients and Alternatives employees will be able to use WiFi, grab coffee and take online classes through QCC, according to the college. QCC's total investment in Alternatives is $33,357, according to data.

QCC signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce for an advanced manufacturing training program. Under the agreement, QCC will provide 30 computers, 20 of which will have computer-aided design capabilities, and classroom furniture to an instructional center on Linwood Avenue in Whitinsville. The college will ask for $20,000 from its foundation to renovate the space, according to the MOU. In total, the chamber will get $134,143 in financial support from the college, not including the possible foundation money.

The MOU is the first step towards getting a manufacturing center in the Blackstone Valley, said chamber President and CEO Jeannie Hebert.

"This is a long time coming, and is one of the number one initiatives that we have been working to accomplish," said Hebert.

A campus is the goal, said former QCC President Gail Carberry.

"Our goal is to get a campus out here, but it has to be done in stages," Carberry said at the announcement in Whitinsville. "This is an acorn that we hope will grow into a mighty oak."

More than 700 QCC students come from the Blackstone Valley, and about 200 of those students take online courses, according to the college.

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