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Learning power

The recent surge in private-sector job growth in the Rochester region has been notable for its broad base. But one of the most important areas of growth has been health care and education, which has been a core strength here in recent years.

The expansion of health care and education employment reflects an ongoing, well-documented shift in the economy locally and elsewhere. But it also is a testament to the big investments made by higher education institutions in the Rochester region.

The last few weeks have seen important milestones by a trio of local colleges and universities that should help ensure continued growth and more job opportunities. Last week, St. John Fisher College marked the opening of its $14 million Integrated Science and Health Sciences building. And across town, Roberts Wesleyan College celebrated its new $19 million Crothers Science and Nursing Center.

Today, Rochester Institute of Technology will hold a grand-opening ceremony for the nearly $15 million Clinical Health Sciences Center—another step in its partnership with Rochester Regional Health.

All three projects involve additional space for teaching and research, and significant technology upgrades. The RIT center will house the Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition as well as behavioral health, diagnostic medical sonography and physician assistant programs. It also will be home to the RRH Family Medicine practice.

The Crothers Center at Roberts Wesleyan boasts science and nursing laboratories, a simulations center and dedicated research rooms. The Integrated Science and Health Sciences facility at St. John Fisher likewise has an array of state-of-the-art classrooms and teaching laboratories.

St. John Fisher president Gerard Rooney could have been speaking for his peers at RIT and Roberts Wesleyan when he said the college’s new center both increases opportunities for student research in the sciences and provides a “transformational educational experience.”

At the same time, these new facilities and the programs they house offer something more: a chance to acquire skills that today’s economy demands.

10/2/15 (c) 2015 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.

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