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      Region's strongest industry hits the classroom

      Jeffery Oswald is one of the many local students taking advantage of adult education at the University Center in Gaylord. He is a local lawn care business owner. In the last year he has been taking classes and it has helped him take better financial care of his business. That same success is what North Central Michigan College and Northwood University hope to mirror with the local hospitality industry.

      "It's going to make the tourism industry here in Otsego County and the surrounding areas even better because were going to have the resources we're going to have the continued education to be right on top of what's new what's happening right now," Gaylord Chamber of Commerce manager Barb Bourdlais.

      Northwood University will offer four year degrees in business management, entrepranuership, and hospitality management at the University Center in Gaylord. These programs were all brought to the region due to the high demand in the local economy.

      " In some cases a college will come to the area and bring a degree with it . I n this case, the need for this degree offering was present and to have a college step up and a college as reputable as Northwood is a real blessing ," NCMC Director of Off-Campus Programming Michele Anderson said.

      N ow people who want to further their education in one of these fields don't have to leave town to do so.

      " It keeps people here in our community that can continue to work and further their education all in their hometown or come to this area because they're seeking employment in our tourism industry ," Bourdlais said.