As a young adult and Napa Valley College student, I have several concerns with the Napa Pipe project and the idea of the board of trustees supporting it.
As former president of the Associated Students of Napa Valley College, I played a part in developing the college’s 2011 to 2014 strategic plan. The current Napa Pipe project could have potential ramifications for the college’s strategic plan and its mission.
My concerns with Napa Pipe as it relates to Napa Valley College are as follows:
• Traffic is already a huge issue on the Napa-Vallejo Highway. Napa Pipe could severely increase traffic on the highway, which would significantly impact students driving from Vallejo and American Canyon to Napa Valley College.
• I understand there has been discussion between Napa Pipe developers and college representatives concerning opportunities for training, partnerships, and classes on-site. However, I do not recall seeing these aspects of the project included in the Napa Pipe proposal as it appeared before the Napa County Planning Commission.
Because of this, and because Napa Pipe is such a controversial issue, it seems inappropriate for Napa Valley College to support Napa Pipe before it’s even been approved by the Napa County Board of Supervisors.
• Rezoning Napa Pipe from industrial to residential will eliminate future possibilities for industrial jobs. California community colleges are being required to severely restrict their purposes. One of their purposes is to train and prepare students for the workforce.
Napa Valley College could better carry out its mission to enhance workforce development by partnering with companies or public agencies using Napa Pipe for industrial purposes.
For example, Napa Pipe could be used as a renewable energy production and distribution center. This could create educational opportunities through partnerships with Napa Valley College to prepare students for careers in green technologies.
Such an idea would support the college’s 2011 to 2014 strategic plan, which calls for the college to “provide programs that prepare students for careers in emerging industries and occupations including green technology applications” (2.2).
In conclusion, I urge the Napa Valley College board of trustees to reject the resolution to support the Napa Pipe project.
Napa Pipe is bad for students. It will increase traffic, eliminate future jobs, and limit opportunities for the college to carry out its mission and strategic plan.
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