Mayor Troutman guarantees passage of school issues will lead to economic growth in jobs.
The City of Cañon City is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to their commitment to supporting local education.
The Cañon City Council this year funded the curriculum for Cañon City High School’s Junior Achievement program, and they’re looking to help fund other future projects.
Mayor Preston Troutman said the cost of the Junior Achievement materials was about $6,000, but it’s part of a much bigger package.
“The residents and (council) want economic development, and I am convinced it starts with the schools,” he said after making a Junior Achievement presentation in Daniel Coppa’s Economics class Wednesday at Cañon City High School.
Troutman has volunteered his time this semester, along with local businessmen Brian Konty and Shad Johnson, and Fremont County Commissioner Debbie Bell, to talk to students about business and economics from a real-world point of view.
CCHS instructor Daniel Coppa said the Junior Achievement program is beneficial to the students because it gives them an avenue to interact with professionals throughout the community that they might not have elsewhere.
“These volunteers bring with them a vast amount of knowledge and expertise about their individual fields which is also valuable to the students,” he said, adding the program is also valuable to the community. “It gives professionals from our community an opportunity to come into our schools to teach and interact with the amazing students of this community. The education of our students takes a community effort and it is fantastic to see members of the community willing to branch out and volunteer their time to help build the knowledge base of our students.”
Mayor Troutman said it’s quite possible to raise and train local students who eventually will make this community better for everyone.
“They can come back after getting an education and do their business here,” he said. “I told the last senior class, ‘Congratulations, go on your way, but come back — we’ve invested a lot of our time, money and our heart in you — so come back.”
He said without new schools and quality teachers, the community will remain stagnant.
“Look at all the towns that have had good growth, it always drills back to their basic education and their facilities,” he said. “It’s undeniable.”
He said there might be a future graduate who will go out and develop something similar to Google or Apple and then come back.
Cañon City mayor and local realtor Preston Troutman gives a presentation in Daniel Coppa’s Economics class Wednesday at Cañon City High School. (Carie Canterbury / Daily Record)
“It’s there,” he said. “We’ve got to give them a good foundation to get out of here and they’ll come back.”
Troutman said the council would like to do more for the school system, such as fund a video arts certification program, it just depends on next year’s budget.
“I believe we should be paying for a video arts certification program within the school so people who graduate with it will receive a certificate that will allow them to do videography and things of that nature right out of high school,” Troutman said. “That’s a huge leg up where they can go right away and get a really good paying job, and maybe they’ll be inventive and bring something back to Cañon City.”
The cost of such a program would be about $30,000, but it would provide high-speed computers, switching machines and videography equipment. Troutman is currently working on a proposal to submit for council approval.
Troutman is hopeful that Cañon City residents also will choose to invest in the futures of students and this community by approving questions 3A and 3B on the Nov. 7 ballot.
A proposed mill levy override and bond would help enhance the district’s ability to hire quality teachers, replace outdated education materials and create a one-to-one student technology program. It would also be used as matching dollars for Colorado Department of Education’s Building Excellent Schools Today grants to rebuild outdated and dilapidating facilities.
“I make a promise as mayor, a personal guarantee, if this passes, within five years or less, we will see tremendous economic growth in jobs and industry,” Troutman said. “Every place it’s been done, it has worked, and at the end of the day, people coming out of high school are qualified to work in their industry. They are an integral part of development. (Companies) don’t want to spend years training someone, they would like to be able to move ahead with trained individuals, and that’s what we’re doing — we will give them that technology-ready workforce that they wouldn’t have otherwise.”
Carie Canterbury: 719-276-7643, firstname.lastname@example.org