The partnership came about in response to a desire from the community and as part of the city’s long term vision, Derek Matheson, city manager of Covington, said.
“In our first dozen years or so we focused on building a tax base,” Matheson said. “Around ‘03 the City Council decided it wanted to spend the next dozen or so years creating a sense of place.”
As part of the town center plan that was adopted by the council there is a vision for an increased education presence, with a 2 or 4 year college present in the town center, Matheson said.
“We need to take some baby steps,” said Matheson.
The first of those steps have now been realized in starting the continuing education courses. The city, chamber of commerce and Green River conducted a survey last summer that reinforced the desire by residents for more educational options.
Among those surveyed, there was an interest in a wide variety of classes and more than half of the participants indicated an interest in cooking and health and fitness classes. Other areas of particular interest that were indicated were computers/technology and arts.
“It’s going really well,” Bob Embrey, director for corporate and continuing education at Green River, said. “We hope to bring more programs in as there is demand.”
The partnership with Covington is a pilot program for Green River, which has multiple campuses including Auburn, Kent and Enumclaw.
“We have partnerships (with other cities) in other ways, but this is unique in terms of classes,” Embrey said.
Classes offered so far have ranged from art and exercise classes to courses in time management, communication and business management.
Classes that will be offered in the spring will include leading edge social media marketing, watercolor painting, life-size sugar roses, communicating between generations, and working smarter: time management.
All classes are held at Covington City Hall located at 16720 S.E. 271st St. in Covington. For more information and to register call 253-833-9111 ext. 2535 or go online to greenriver.edu/ce