Thompson Education Center Sponsored Sullivan County Partnership Breakfast Event Hosted By Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress

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Thompson Education Center is ready to work together with the residents and businesses in supporting to help Sullivan County towards a brighter economic future.

Breakfast Event at Bernie's Holiday Restaurant

The Sullivan County Partnership’s morning event, which was held on Thursday, June 24th, 2015, was presented by Hudson Valley Pattern of Progress. Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, which was founded in 1965, is a not-for-profit policy, planning, advocacy and research organization whose mission is to promote regional, balanced and sustainable solutions that enhance the growth and vitality of the Hudson Valley. The presentation outlined the vast array of variables that influence Sullivan County’s local and regional economy and assist local businesses in preparation for economic opportunities resulting in a brighter future for the county.

As the “Platinum Sponsor”, Sherry Li, CEO of the Thompson Education Center Project attended the event to show her support to the local community. The presentation was impressive, pointing out the challenges and issues that influence the Sullivan County’s economy right now, which includes aging of population, education (college enrollment), employment rate, and tax revenue. Thompson Education Center Project can help the county to resolve all these issues by building up a college, attracting more youth, creating jobs and stimulating economic growth.

According to the Population Projections table (ref1): in local county, from age 0-64, the population is showing negative increase for the next three decades, which means the population between this range will keep getting lower from decade to decade; from age 65-85+, the population is showing positive increase, which means the population between this age range will continue to increase. The statistics show a serious aged tendency issue around the area. Thompson Education Center project will help to remit the situation by bringing college age students to the community and attracting more mid-aged workforce to there as well.

Statistics also show that the percentage change of undergraduate enrollment in the Sullivan county area is negative (-11%) from Year 2007-2013. (ref2)The goal of Thompson Education Center is to fuse Eastern and Western education systems, to diversify education development in the future, and to provide a better learning experience for students. The initial development of the Thompson Education Center would work with accredited colleges to develop a new high-end and modern comprehensive university community in Sullivan County, which will include a Business School, a College of Film & Arts, a medical training center supervised by the reputable hospital as well as related ancillary facilities. The Center will employ excellent faculties from the United States, and enroll students from both China, the U.S. and other countries. The Thompson Education Center Project would like to provide more opportunities to the local high-school graduates, therefore increasing the county’s college enrollment rate.

As seen in the chart below (ref3), there are four school districts in Sullivan County, Liberty, Monticello, Fallsburg and Livingston Manor. They all show that there are huge gaps between the high school graduate rate and the college & career ready rate. As a result, approximately 31% in Libery, 43% in Monticello, 48% in Fallsburg and 53% in Livingston Manor of High School students are graduating this year without a college or a job offer. Thompson Education Center can not only provide a college education opportunity to the local high-school graduate, but it can also create jobs or internships in the dining hall, café, library, book stores, cleaning, etc.

According to NYS Department of Labor, it shows that Sullivan County’s unemployment rate is higher than the Nation’s average rate (ref 4). Thompson Education Center will bring an influx of many jobs to Sullivan County. Initially and throughout the project, many contractors and real estate workers will be employed. In fact, since the Thompson Education Center Job Opportunity Event held on October 22, 2014, the project has already offered some job contracts to local contractors and other professional firms (Planning, Architect, Engineer, Land Use Lawyer, Groundwater & Environmental Engineering Service, etc.) and an increase of job contracts will be offered throughout the entire project. Once the project is complete, there will be many job openings at the Thompson Education Center. The project would not only be beneficial to local businesses and economic development but it would also increase the number of local jobs available. Thompson Education Center has already moved to the planning and construction stage, many planning jobs and some construction related jobs have been created and there will be many construction related jobs available as the project move forward. After it is built, there will be real estate related jobs to maintain daily operations, including but not limited to sales, professors, instructors, school book store and shop keepers, chefs, landscapers, cleaning, and maintenance workers.

There was a general consensus that the project is an incredible opportunity for Sullivan County and its residents. The potential benefit for the area is tangible and the economic growth that would be created alone are staggering. With all of this income added to the county and the many shovel-ready jobs awaiting approval, the Thompson Education Center truly has the potential to help stimulate growth in Sullivan County both in the short and long term.

Meanwhile, by building up a college community, it will stimulate the economic development in the region. More local businesses such as restaurants, cafes, convenient stores, etc. will be encouraged and accepting of opening a new business inside or near to the college community which will also attract more visitors to Sullivan County. The development of the college community is only the initial phase of the TEC project. During later phases, Thompson Education Center believes that it will attract more middle class and upper class investors to the project.

The future is looking so promising for this community. Thompson Education Center is ready to work together with the residents and businesses in supporting to help Sullivan County towards a brighter economic future.

Special thanks to Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress,

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Matthew James
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