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Bernice Radle: Young Citizens for ECC

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Bernice Radle: Young Citizens for ECC

In April, Bernice Radle took the reins of Young Citizens for ECC, a group committed to persuading Erie Community College to move its proposal for a $30 million new building from ECC’s North Campus to downtown Buffalo, where it could become a part of the city’s medical corridor.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a project coordinator/energy consultant at Buffalo Energy. I have a strong passion for buildings, energy efficiency, urbanism, and historic preservation. I have a degree from Buffalo State College in Urban Planning and Regional Analysis. I’m originally a Niagara Falls gal and now live in Allentown.

What is Young Citizens for ECC?

Young Citizens for ECC is a group of young professionals dedicated to the future of Erie Community College. We formed in April to introduce a younger and more forward-thinking perspective on ECC’s plans to build a $30 million Health Sciences Center for Excellence at its North Campus in Amherst. We believe this investment belongs downtown, where all the health sciences job and internship opportunities are being created.

What’s the group’s platform?

Young Citizens for ECC wants to same thing Erie Community College does. We want to link our region’s young people with emerging fields in the health sciences and prepare Buffalo for a 21st-century economy. We can’t do that by making educational opportunities inaccessible, especially to people who depend on public transit. ECC needs to focus on creating stronger linkages to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, which we believe will help re-brand the college, attract top talent, and prepare our region for the jobs of tomorrow.

Last week you spoke to the ECC board of trustees. How were you received?

I was promptly cut off after my three minutes were up. This three minutes is the only time the public has ever been given to discuss this proposal.

Why do you think ECC is hell-bent on building a new building on ECC’s North Campus?

It’s pure insanity. Does it continue to make sense to locate most nursing spots and all dental hygiene, dental assisting, health information technology, medical office assistant, ophthalmic dispensing, respiratory care, dietetic technology, and bio-manufacturing spots at ECC’s North Campus rather than at the doorstep of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus? We must put this investment where it will create the most value for region’s economy. It’s downtown or bust!

BONUS: If you could ask five questions of ECC Board President Patricia Krzesiniski, what would they be?

Do you want to take this outside? Just kidding. When will Erie Community College respond to the amazing opportunities being created in downtown Buffalo? When will the allied health programs of ECC be moved to the City Campus as the college initially planned in 2007? When will Buffalo join the vanguard of successful regions that are investing in their downtown community college campuses? Why in the world would you ever propose closing ECC’s City Campus, the most accessible and convenient educational environment in Western New York?

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