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AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF COMMUNITY COLLEGES

GATEWAY TECHNICAL COLLEGE IS THE COMMUNITY’S BROADBAND NETWORK ANCHOR, ENSURING INTEROPERABILITY OF POLICE, FIRE, AND SCHOOL COMMUNICATIONS DURING A CRISIS. PHOTO CREDIT: GREG LEBRICK

BUILDING RESILIENT CITIES WITH COMMUNITY COLLEGES By Andrea L. Dono, Program Coordinator at the American Association of Community Colleges’ SEED Center. A strong community is resilient. Climate change and its impacts, like mega-droughts, super storms, and extreme temperatures, are forcing communities to rethink preparedness and emergency responses of yesterday. Today, a truly resilient community has integrated strategies that address public health, food security, transportation infrastructure, water supply, clean energy, and so much more. No single entity can achieve this alone. Public-private partnerships are key to this comprehensive approach, and an untapped resource, our 58 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

nation’s community colleges, are primed to play a major role. The United States has 1,123 two-year institutions that enroll almost half of the nation’s undergraduates (12.4 million people). Approximately 90 percent of Americans live within 30 miles of a community college. Charged with bettering the areas they serve, these colleges should be central to designing and carrying out a coherent and sustainable local response to climate threats, says a new report released by the American Association of Community

Colleges’ Sustainability Education and Economic Development Center and the Center on Wisconsin Strategy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They can do this as a workforce developer, a community organizer, and stakeholder convener. EDUCATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORTS PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE Hundreds of cities and states are developing climate resiliency plans, but few are involving their local technical and com-

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