To the Editor:
McHenry County College’s administration claims to need a 130,000-square-foot addition because health care jobs are exploding.
Below are projections from the Illinois Department of Employment Security – the source the college used to justify its plan – of annual job openings in McHenry County in fields that MCC offers: registered nurse, 54; occupational therapist, three; physical therapist, five; LPN and vocational nurses, 10; EMTs and paramedics, seven; medical lab technicians, one; athletic trainers, one; nursing aides, orderlies and attendants, 12; occupational therapist assistants, one; medical assistants, eight; and fitness trainer/aerobics instructor, 12.
That’s 114 jobs per year. Registered nurses need a bachelor’s degree, and fewer than half of all registered nursing students start at a community college. So MCC needs to graduate maybe 100 students per year in all these fields combined. Do we need a huge addition to handle 100 graduates per year? No, because that’s just about how many MCC graduates right now.
MCC claims our students can work at health jobs in the surrounding counties, but all those counties have their own community college health sciences programs. Where do you think their students are looking for jobs?
If you really love MCC, then you want it to be the best it can be, not just the biggest it can be. You want it to be judged by its impact, not its footprint.
MCC has a vital role to play in our community.
It does not fulfill that role if it wastes taxpayer money on unnecessary bricks and mortar.