It’s a commonly accepted fact that education leads to prosperity. Get a college degree and you’ll make more money. Have a bunch of colleges in your city, and the region will prosper. That was the logic behind my post a month ago about the need to put more higher education in downtown Provo.
According to a recent article over at The Atlantic Cities, colleges can also lead to general economic stability. The article looks at Dayton Ohio, a former-but-now-declining manufacturing center that is being buoyed up by, among other things, Sinclair Community College.
As the article notes, Sinclair has both traditional community college courses as well as newer offerings, like a class on military drones. Half of the county’s residents have also taken a Sinclair class at one point or another. According to the school’s president, the point is to offer a different education model where there is greater diversity of offerings and where people can return to school over the course of a lifetime.
The goal, the article indicates, is a diverse metro economy. That’s something any city should aspire to have and education is clearly a major part of attaining it. The Provo metro area obviously has educational opportunities — BYU, UVU, and other smaller vocational schools — but there’s no reason it shouldn’t have more, particularly in downtown.