Northampton Community College has opened a new Easton Educational Outreach Center on South Third Street in a space that previously housed the city’s police department.
“When the police department moved, the city contacted the college and asked if the space would be anything the college would be interested in,” said Lauren Loeffler, vice president of workforce development and community education for the college.
The answer, of course, was a resounding “yes,” and she said the college is excited to have the outreach opportunity in the city’s downtown, where it can better learn residents’ educational and job training needs and how best to serve them.
“We were very happy to have the opportunity,” she said.
The new NCC Easton Educational Outreach Center is at 25 S. Third St. Since the city donated the space, it cost less than $100,000 in renovation work to convert the offices into an educational center, Loeffler said.
She said it was also quick work because its space needs are very similar to those of the police department.
There is the possibility the city may want to take back the structure in a few years to demolish and rebuild for future needs, which Loeffler said is not an issue.
“It gets us established in the downtown. It lets us test the waters,” she said.
She said if the programming proves popular and successful in Easton, she doesn’t believe the college will have any problem finding other space.
To start, the college is offering noncredit courses, including many options for micro-credentialing for people looking to learn or advance their skills.
She said NCC plans to work closely with Easton’s CareerLink office to see what services and skills are most needed by members of the workforce in the community.
She said it also will be working on bringing for-credit general education courses to the facility to help people jump-start their education.
She said training will range from manufacturing and industrial to training in hospitality, public safety, health care and computer skills.