I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening of the ISU-Meridian campus. It was amazing to see the changes that have taken place in a former manufacturing facility. From the patient simulation labs to a sterile area for pharmacy, students to learn how to compound medicines. The school is moving forward in preparing students for a career in the medical field. Right here in Meridian we are the center of meeting the critical needs in health care for Idahoans.
It was also rewarding to see the vision of two schools – ISU and Renaissance High School working side by side. Joint School District 2 can now provide their students with college credit for classes taken in conjunction with ISU courses. Young people who have a desire to enter a medical career can get a head start on earning their college degree.
The best part of the grand opening was talking to an ISU administrator who said that their vision was embraced by the City of Meridian who made them feel wanted. It was very satisfying to hear that we in city government were instrumental in helping turn their vision into reality.
As I thought about it later that evening, in many ways that is an important role of city government. We work in partnership with individuals, big and small businesses, and educational institutions to make their vision come true. Whether it is in creating jobs or educational opportunities we can assist by providing the infrastructure and some resources while keeping regulatory burdens to a minimum.
Our vision for Meridian is to have a thriving community with good jobs and quality neighborhoods, among many things. Although ISU and the school district had a separate vision to meet the need of their students, they were complementary visions and by coming together they created a powerful dynamic. In the same way, if we in the city partner with business, we can achieve success for both of our visions as well.
Growing up in Meridian, I recall this community as a small town that was primarily rural in nature and then slowly transitioning to a bedroom community of Boise. We had excellent schools and wonderful neighborhoods, but most of the jobs and businesses were located elsewhere.
Many entrepreneurs saw the potential of Meridian as a full service community, providing good jobs and services to go along with the neighborhoods and schools. In time, city government came to support that vision, which became a reality as Meridian grew into a city that thrives in all areas. It takes the private sector to make it happen, but the city can foster growing businesses and good jobs by partnering to help make their dreams a reality.
Yes, times are tough economically right now. But this community still has people who have a vision and those of us that serve you in city government have a vision of how this city can thrive. Working together we can make that a reality. Just as the city assisted ISU and their dream of a satellite campus in the Treasure Valley, we can help others make their vision come true that will lead to new growth and vitality. Working together we can make it happen.