LA JARA — The entire San Luis Valley may become part of the Adams State University (ASU) campus through a grant supporting rural economic development, ASU President Dr. Beverlee McClure told the La Jara Town Board last week.
She explained communities in the Valley would be partnering with ASU on efforts to help students learn and have a skill to include on their resumes.
“We see people walk across the stage to receive their degrees and then walk out of the Valley,” she said.
The Center for Economic Opportunity at ASU will be holding the first annual economic summit Aug. 3 on the university campus with the hope that partnerships will be formed, McClure said.
She said many students do not connect the line between college and the work force and efforts will begin to show that connection has been successfully made.
Another part of the effort would be creating economic opportunity for ASU and its students.
ASU could become a destination school, bringing with it an industrial economy. It is already one of the nation’s top Hispanic serving institutions in the state. The future would bring assurance that the needs of ASU’s diverse students are met.
“The campus is not just at Edgemont and Main streets in Alamosa, it is actually the entire Valley,” McClure told the board.
The Economic Development Center at ASU is supported by grant monies for the entire Valley and would work with smaller projects on such efforts as marketing, economic development and social media promoting, McClure told the trustees.
“We are looking at a processing plant for industrial hemp that would create up to 50 jobs,” she added.
Efforts will be on collaboration, bringing existing businesses, persons and organizations together, McClure said.
The town board will draft and sign a letter of support.