(Masslive.com—By “The Republican”,Feb. 15, 2015 @ 7:00 am) US Reps. Joe Kennedy, Niki Tsongas: Community colleges uniquely positioned to prepare youth for demands of modern economy. In Massachusetts, the economic landscape has shifted toward high-tech manufacturing, research and development in growing fields such as clean energy, biotechnology and medicine. But quality education, cutting-edge resources and innovative programs aren’t limited to Massachusetts’ better-known universities. Last year, Northern Essex Community College in Lawrence opened a Health Education Simulation Center for paramedic and medical technology students; the Department of Labor named Mt. Wachusett Community College in Gardner the lead institution for its Advanced Manufacturing Mechatronics and Quality Consortium, providing $6.5 million to install state-of-the-art equipment for hands-on learning; Bristol Community College in Fall River has been leading the way on clean energy education with its innovative Green Center; and MassBay Community College in Wellesley and Framingham launched a cybersecurity program, preparing students for the front lines of some of our most pressing global challenges.