Governor Ducey, Dr. Daniel Corr of Arizona Western College All About the Economic Benefits of the Workforce Acceleration Program
Funding for community colleges is a top priority
PHOENIX – Governor Doug Ducey today joined Arizona Western College President Dr. Daniel Corr and Arizona Commerce Authority President and CEO Sandra Watson to outline a program to to provide skilled workers to Arizona.
“Arizona’s community colleges are an integral part of the engine that drives our economic dynamics. And boy, in Arizona we have momentum,” Governor Ducey said.“Community colleges in Arizona have not only been the secret sauce, but the secret weapon of our transformed economy.”
Arizona is taking a proactive approach to maintaining this economic momentum – aligning industry with education.
The Governor’s proposed budget calls for the creation of six Workforce Accelerators in collaboration with community colleges and industry leaders. Intensive and advanced manufacturing training centers will equip Arizonans with the skills needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
“We are community colleges, but more importantly, we are community colleges,” said Dr. Corr, president of Western College of Arizona and president of the Arizona Community College Coordinating Council. “We train people for the jobs of today and the jobs of tomorrow based on local needs.
Once built on construction and tourism, Arizona’s economy is now more diversified, with a strong base in manufacturing.
“Arizona has seen a wave of manufacturing success across the state,” said Sandra Watson, president and CEO of Arizona Commerce Authority. “Arizona’s state-of-the-art manufacturing training centers are critical to maintaining the manufacturing momentum our state currently enjoys. This provides our existing employers with work-ready talent and makes Arizona more competitive in attracting additional operations to our state.
Accelerators will reflect the success of Driving48, bringing together higher education, the public sector and industry to improve the skills of Arizona’s workforce. Drive48 was launched at Central Arizona College in partnership with Lucid Motors.
In 2016, Lucid Motors chose Pinal County for its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. Now in operation1,700 Lucid Motors employees have been trained using Drive48’s state-of-the-art tools.
The meeting relied on the governors roundtable with community college leaders last week. Leaders from 10 community colleges highlighted the governor’s commitment to workforce development, noting how accelerators would unlock opportunities for all, especially in rural counties.
Announced in Governor Ducey’s 2022 State of the State Address, Workforce Accelerators will be paving the way for the workforce of tomorrow and further accelerate Arizona’s economic momentum.
As a key selling point for many companies, workforce and talent development is essential for a growing economy.
Much of this momentum can be seen in rural parts of the state.
In December, Leonardo Electronics added 170 jobs in Oro Valley. Lucid Engines commissioned its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in September at Casa Grande, creating 2,000 jobs. CP Technologies created 200 jobs in Prescott in June.
These victories build on Arizona’s job growth over the past seven years. In January, Governor Ducey announced Arizona has created 400,000 jobs since 2015 and has 3 million jobs for the first time in state history.
In 2021, Governor Ducey signed legislation allowing community colleges will offer four-year degrees. Community colleges are key to equipping the workforce with much-needed skills. Four-year degrees at community colleges will provide additional learning pathways, especially for populations that are historically underrepresented in higher education.
Arizona has a history of strong partnerships between universities, industry leaders and the public sector:
In March 2021, Arizona launched Drive48, a state-of-the-art manufacturing training center in Pinal County. The state-of-the-art facility serves the region and state by providing a training center for high-tech manufacturing jobs in areas such as automotive assembly, advanced manufacturing, heavy equipment and more. Based at Central Arizona College in Pinal County, Driving48 was created in partnership with local government and industry partners, including Lucid Motors.
In 2019, Arizona’s advanced manufacturers, public sector, and academic institutions came together to create a one-of-a-kind partnership called the Arizona Advanced Technology Network. Maricopa County Community College District, Central Arizona College, and Pima Community College have partnered to develop a unified, industry-recognized curriculum specifically designed to teach the skills needed for high-paying, high-tech manufacturing jobs. technology.
In 2020, Intel partnered with the Maricopa County Community College District to launch its first Intel-designed artificial intelligence associate’s degree program. Intel is also a longtime partner of Arizona State University’s Fulton School of Engineering.
CP Technologies has partnered with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Yavapai College to foster an innovative ecosystem and plans to leverage the impressive talent produced by these educational institutions in its hiring efforts.