Posted: Oct 31, 2013 9:45 PM by Judy Slate - KBZK News
BOZEMAN - Three years ago Gallatin College MSU was created. Its goal was to offer workforce training at an affordable price. Now, the College is asking voters in Gallatin County for help.
After 14 years as a childhood music instructor, Gallatin College graduate Jackie Swanson was ready for a change and even though she had a business degree from years ago, things weren't all that bright.
"I was actually pretty- not desperate - just, not hopeful," Swanson said.
"I felt like my options were, going to pretty much entry level, which was going to make me feel underemployed."
That's when Swanson turned to the Gallatin College and she wasn't alone. 300 people are currently enrolled in one and two-year programs at the institution.
Montana State University President Waded Cruzado says, "It's an empowering tool."
Cruzado is an outspoken advocate for Gallatin College.
"They can do things that we cannot. They're partners in excellence," she says.
Cruzado says one of the unique things about the college is that it addresses the workforce needs in our community.
"People are telling us that, for example, careers in healthcare, tourism management...also in high demand," Cruzado says.
And these are exactly the kind of programs that money raised by the mill levy will pay for, creating a qualified workforce and helping people improve their lives.
"Gallatin College opens many doors of opportunity," Cruzado said.
That was true for Swanson. After a year at Gallatin College, she landed a job as a bookkeeper for a Bozeman company.
"It was not a lot of money and I'm able to go out and make a good living and I really appreciate that especially in today's economy," Swanson says.
If passed, the cost of the mill levy to Gallatin County property owners will be $4.15 a year for $200,000 in assessed property value. Ballots have to be in the mail by November 5th.