Art of Community Podcast Ep. 7: WVC becoming key player in economic development of the region
Wenatchee Valley College is quietly doing some critical work engaging the community and supporting the economic development of North Central Washington. The college is a critical asset in the valley and to see it quietly and effectively engaging in significant projects is heartening.
Luckensmeyer has been connecting the college with the business community and encouraging the development of what she calls an “entrepreneurial ecosystem” in the region. She does this work through WVC’s Center for Entrepreneurship. One state-funded program just getting off the ground in NCW is called “economic gardening,” which allows local companies with the potential to grow into new markets or niches to get free expert research on market development and business risk. She’s looking for businesses that want to take advantage of this program.
The college is also the cornerstone of the Apple STEM Network, which is bringing together WVC, Wenatchee, Eastmont and Cashmere schools, the North Central Educational Service District, the Greater Wenatchee Area Technology Alliance and others to develop Science, Technology, Engineer and Math jobs and educational opportunities here.
Luckensmeyer has been a critical player in the core team supporting the Our Valley Our Future grass roots community-building effort as well as part of the informal valley-wide economic development effort that is working to build partnerships and foster collaboration.
She’s a believer in the adage that “change is going to happen to us or through us” and that engaging the community as part of owning our economic future is a significant advantage for us.