Can a small college help save the city of Colorado coal?

Nelson proudly decorated her office with a purple and white blanket. She enjoys enrichment, such as dressing, which remains a favorite food.

But it was clear to Nelson that the fortunes would not be able to build Craig’s new economy. As a former assistant editor of the Craig Daily Press, Nelson has always noticed the fragility of the city’s future.

Changes that have helped Nelson provide short-term, skill-based training in areas such as computer programming and health to help employees gain new knowledge.

(Little Nathaniel / CPR News)
Liz Johnson, Superintendent of Paleology at Colorado Northwest Community College, describes the work of students to restore dinosaur bones on the school’s Craig campus. A.D. In 2014, after a teacher discovered the bones of the Hadsosar dinosaur, the college became a federal fossil for the Colorado Bureau of Land Administration.

Expanding options

And for those who need new training, the school has expanded its options.

This year, the school added a $ 500,000 cyber security program with the support of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. The state sees information technology services as a growing industry that can be used by communities across the state.

But adding programs is expensive. The cyber security program is expected to cost $ 175,000 a year, and the program will cost more to launch when it requires more equipment and skills. The expansion of the flight training program at the school’s Rangeli Campus could reach up to $ 1.5 million.

Community colleges receive the largest amount of funding from the state, which supports existing programs, not new initiatives. Craig Campus has a $ 6.2 million operating budget that includes state funding, management, and insurance.

According to John Anderson, vice president of student services, launching new programs requires buying equipment, developing courses, and hiring qualified teachers. Simply put, “it takes money to make sure we have it all.”

(Little Nathaniel / CPR News)
Assistant Director of the Northwest Colorado Paul Noules Museum poses with local artist Israel Holoi in the Craig Museum to the right. In the wake of the collapse of the local coal industry, and the efforts to place Craig on the map in a positive light, the museum ordered Holoween to create the world’s largest watercolor. It is protected by plastic until the picture is exposed.

The school is a model for building a program from scratch and without support. Two years ago, he created a program of pathology education that continues to be strongly funded by education.

One of the few programs in the United States that specializes in dinosaur drilling — and one of the few places in the world where you can feel the cold and soft scales of a harosa skin with a fossil duck — is a graduate of the pathology program. The first three students this year. However, in order to grow the program, the school will have to do it on its own.

Not wanting to go the dinosaur route

In some ways, Craig hopes that the past holds the future.

The dinosaurs can be a source of activity and tourism, and the Buccane Cassidi wild coffee can once be a wild West aura in a region that is said to walk through mountain tops and valleys.

The Northwest Colorado Museum has 16- to 10-foot fine art water painting, the largest in the world and the Guinness Book of World Records. A painting completed in Israel, Holocaust, depicts a lifelong cavalry on horseback.

These projects have the potential to attract visitors and dollars, and the Community College can train staff for a new tourism industry. According to museum director Dan Davidson, Craig will survive if he can identify and plan for the next economic growth.

“Over the years, all the growth and slaughter have been driven by natural resources,” said Davidson. “None of this has been managed. None of them were producing. None of these were tourism.

Vic Updke, a 52-year-old successful entrepreneur, said he would help Craig create a sustainable workflow.

Updike, like his father, expected to enter Craig’s farm. The economic downturn of the 1980’s made that impossible. In order to make a living in his hometown, Updyke had to leave first. He studied heating, ventilation, and air conditioning at the Denver Institute of Technology.

He later returned to Craig to buy the 30-year-old master’s mechanical business.

Business access has grown to Steamboat Springs and Baggs, Wyoming. He said the more money coming from outside the city, the better.

“I’m not special and I’m not smart,” said Updike. “I say this when you look at who will replace the plant, you will not find another power plant. We need 15 more master’s jobs, which may not be exactly what we do, but here comes what we do with Denver or another dollar in Craig.

His company collaborates with community colleges each year to provide advanced training for staff. He also says that he holds meetings every week for new and inexperienced workers.

Craig has to get used to living, UpDK. In difficult times, city dwellers always do it. He believes that city leaders, the college, and the people themselves are superior. But if the dollars don’t come, determination will not make a difference.

“There is no reason why no dinosaurs should walk on the road,” Updke said. “When diet changed, they couldn’t change, so they just died.”


This story is the second in a two-part series as part Higher Education Media Union for Citizens and Scholars. Union supports new report on post-secondary vocational and technical education.

Chalkbeat is a non-profit news outlet that covers educational change in public schools.

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