Local Pols Visit Becker College
What has prompted Massachusetts State Representative Vincent Pedone (pictured, center, in to left photo) and Worcester Mayor Joseph O’Brien to make a visit Becker College? Both men recently toured campus, in the historic Elm Park area of Worcester.
The college is building upon its recognition by higher education admission watchdog, The Princeton Review, and video game magazine, GamePro, as a top college for video game design. Mr. Pedone and Mr. O’Brien (pictured, second from right, in bottom left photo) were introduced to the director of design programs, Paul Cotnoir, Ph.D., and students in the college’s video game development programs and were engaged in a discussion about Central Massachusetts’ place in the state’s creative economy.
Governor Deval Patrick recognized the value of creative industries and the consistent growth of this economic sector. A task of the Creative Economy Council is to foster education and workforce development, and that is where Becker has expertise and budding talent to offer.
Jason Schupbach, creative economy industry director for Massachusetts visited Becker as part of the college’s Franklin M. Loew Lecture Series and explained how the creative industries span other fields, supporting other economic sectors, including construction, manufacturing, technology and hospitality and tourism. Schupbach has since taken the reigns as director of design at the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C.
Rep. Pedone, chair of the House Committee of Bills in the Third Reading, whose district includes Becker’s Worcester campus, is keenly interested in economic development, jobs and education. Over his 18 years on Beacon Hill, Rep. Pedone has helped foster Worcester’s success in building a powerful life sciences/biotechnology/healthcare industry cluster. He indicated that he sees Becker’s game design program as a key building block in the nascent growth of an important, new creative cluster that is developing in central Massachusetts. Game design has already become a $2B industry in the Commonwealth – a figure that is expected to continue to rise.
Mayor O’Brien, in his first term, has been visible locally for years, having most recently served as district director for Congressman James McGovern (3rd Massachusetts). Like Rep. Pedone, Mayor O’Brien says he is excited about the opportunities that having such a top academic program in Worcester means for economic development and job growth in the city.
Becker College, with thriving creative disciplines, leading faculty experts, student capital and community partnerships, belongs at the creative economy table, and sees Central Massachusetts as fertile ground for new opportunities.