A Renewed Commitment to Relevance

“Skills pay the bills.” It’s a tagline that Tallahassee Community College President Jim Murdaugh ran across in Georgia recently and one that he plans to employ at TCC. The school will turn 50 in 2016, a milestone that Murdaugh sees as fit cause for celebration. Too, Murdaugh told the annual conference of the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce on Sunday (Aug. 16), the anniversary “will lead us to think critically and strategically about where we go next.” For Murdaugh, that means finding ways to remain relevant and to assist communities in the TCC service area. Today, Murdaugh said, TCC has certificate or degree programs that relate to nine of the 10 highest paying careers in Tallahassee. “And we’re working on the 10th.” TCC, he said, will soon be established as an entrepreneurship college. He said TCC will “build bridges from poverty” by establishing a center in Gadsden County for the first time and will work to help establish Wakulla County as a world-class ecotourism destination. And, with regard to TCC and local economic development efforts, Murdaugh is sure to be mindful of three lessons he said he learned when he joined other Chamber members and officials on a fact-finding mission to Boulder, Colorado: 1. We have much that is going right in Tallahassee. 2. Community development is a marathon, not a sprint. (Murdaugh confesses that he hates marathons.) 3. It’s important to focus on what makes Tallahassee Tallahassee and, for Murdaugh, the city’s status as a center for research – at FSU, at FAMU and in the private sector, is a big part of Tallahassee’s identity.

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