Rell commends Housatonic Community College for positive role

Bridgeport News, Sunday, December 14, 2008

Housatonic Community College (HCC) has been commended by Gov. M. Jodi Rell for “cost effectively providing a valuable benefit to the state’s residents and business community.”

In an official statement delivered to the college, Rell cited the college’s participation in Bridgeport’s economic development programs, being a leader in developing accountability measures, and providing strategic planning tools to area businesses free of charge.

The governor visited HCC in October for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to formally open the college’s new Beacon Hall. The college’s downtown location has been credited with being a factor in leading to economic development totaling some $2 billion.

In response to a state legislative mandate that state colleges and universities develop accountability measures, HCC became the first urban college, the first college east of the Rockies and the third college in the nation to commission an economic impact study. That study showed that Housatonic contributes $283.9 million each year to the economies of Fairfield and New Haven counties.

In response to the stated needs of area businesses, HCC began offering a Fortune 500-type research tool to Connecticut small- and medium-size companies at no charge. The online service delivers business information on 1.5 million large- and mid-size companies worldwide.

One Bridgeport company — Schwerdtle Stamp Co. — that was being rocked by overseas competition, used the tool to find a life-saving new market, according to the firm’s president, Kathy Saint.

“If it wasn’t for Housatonic Community College,” Saint said, “my fourth-generation family company might not be here today.”