Celebrating the Long-Lasting Impact of Dr. Pat Johns, Outgoing Lake Superior College President

Monday, July 15, 2019

Economic development is all about people, and it truly begins with education. In northeast Minnesota, we are fortunate to be home to several of the state’s finest higher education institutions.  The Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) has been proud to partner with Dr. Pat Johns, recently retired president of Lake Superior College (LSC), on many levels over the years, creating opportunities for students to gain real-world experience in the type of jobs that lend strength to our economy. 

Dr. Johns led an impressive career in academia and always recognized the important role that higher education plays in the overall wellness of a regional economy. Under Dr. Johns’ leadership, LSC has graduated over 20,000 students in the past 20 years. Over 80% of those graduates have found their careers in Minnesota, earning over $6,000 more with their LSC degrees than those with a high school diploma alone, and generating an astounding $3.2 billion-dollar impact. 

Access to high-quality education and training – like the programs offered at LSC – is the key to attracting and retaining a strong workforce. With degrees in healthcare, aviation and manufacturing, LSC graduates have become the hard-working backbone of our regional and state economy.

The College’s healthcare programs prepare graduates for jobs in our fastest growing industry sector. On average, its healthcare graduates earn a healthy $48K salary. Across the state and region, investments in healthcare create higher paying job and growth opportunities for those driven to achieve.

Aviation has quickly become one of our region’s cornerstone industries, and LSC helped attract aviation companies like AAR, Cirrus and Monaco Air to the region by preparing students to continue their education on the job. LSC’s Center for Advanced Aviation at the Duluth Airport puts students in the heart of the action, where they can learn valuable maintenance and piloting skills hands-on. 

LSC understands the critical role of the manufacturing industry on our regional economy. When LSC moved the manufacturing degree programs to their Downtown Duluth Center location, it not only expanded LSC’s footprint, the programs attracted more students into integrated manufacturing. 

All this incredible work has had a huge impact on our regional economy, and it would not have been possible without the vision and leadership of Dr. Pat Johns. Lake Superior College does so much to prepare students for success, and together, we can strengthen the region’s workforce. We at APEX will surely miss partnering with Dr. Johns, but we look forward to working with Dr. Patricia Rogers on many bright and exciting partnerships moving forward.

To view the full article, visit the Duluth News Tribune

Category: APEX