Maricopa Community Colleges Offer Employer Centered Training
Summer is a time of transition for many individuals and families in Arizona, as thousands complete a stage of their educational journey and attempt to determine their next steps to seek meaningful career paths. Increasingly, people at a career or academic crossroads are turning to community colleges to learn skills or better align existing skills with employer needs. However, employers’ needs have changed dramatically over the past two years and the need for retraining or upskilling is increasing. That’s where Maricopa Community Colleges came in.
“Last year’s big quit caused a lot of employees to leave the workforce, but they may not be leaving the workforce altogether,” said Dr. Steven R. Gonzales, Acting Chancellor of the Maricopa County Community College District. . “Many use this time to reevaluate their careers; seeking to transition to more fulfilling employment allows them to achieve personal goals, achieve work-life balance, and redefine expectations of what a high quality of life means.
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Meanwhile, this trend leaves gaping holes and a skills shortage in the workforce. For employers, the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better. They need workers who can get started quickly, with practical skills and the ability to contribute immediately. Many companies such as Banner Health and Farmers Insurance* claim that they will even overlook a degree altogether if the candidate has relevant experience and skills.
The answer for both – employers looking for qualified candidates and people looking for different career paths – may lie in community colleges and their extensive certification options.
“Maricopa Community Colleges meet these needs, providing students with the skills and experience that employers are looking for today. We offer non-traditional, comprehensive programs taught by passionate faculty who take their real-life experience and apply it in the classroom, providing students with practical skills, internship opportunities, and relevant certifications that enable recent graduates and adults to undergo long-term training. careers to make big changes quickly through retraining or upskilling,” Gonzales explained. “Community colleges are essentially the right actor at the right time and in the right place to help the United States successfully navigate this disruptive economic shift, viewing this time instead as an opportunity for The Great Reskilling.”
MCCCD’s large number of specialty programs for in-demand careers that require certification and licensure include healthcare, information technology, construction trades, accounting, culinary arts and forensics, to name a few.
“Businesses are drawn to the region by the pipeline of educated workers,” said Chris Camacho, President and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “The programs offered at Maricopa Community Colleges align business needs with experiential learning, so students are ready to contribute after completion with a short time to business value. With certifications and licensing, catering to industry needs from healthcare to semiconductors, collaboration between higher education and business ensures a healthy flow of talent and supports our diverse modern marketplace.
Examples of retraining through Maricopa Community Colleges:
1. First Lady Jill Biden recently celebrated Maricopa Community Colleges’ Accelerated Semiconductor Technician Fast Start Program with Intel, which prepares community college students for a career as a semiconductor technician. The innovative two-week, 40-hour program offers tuition reimbursement to eligible participants and offers graduates the opportunity to interview with Intel for a full-time position. The program is available at Mesa, Estrella Mountain, and Chandler-Gilbert community colleges.
2. Electrical Utilities Technology at Chandler-Gilbert Community College is designed to prepare the student for the position of apprentice-level lineworker familiar with the use of tools, materials, and equipment in the electric utility industry. This certificate is integrated with the Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Electric Utility Technology. Power line installers and repairers earn a median annual salary of $86,000+ in Arizona.
3. The dental hygiene degrees from Mesa Community College, Phoenix College, and Rio Salado College prepare students to become licensed dental hygienists who assist people with their oral health. Graduates can earn an annual median salary of $87,460+ in Arizona.
4. Another example, J-STD soldering at the MCCCD, allows a student to demonstrate the assembly of soldered components according to J-STD requirements. Successful completion of this certificate can lead to employment in a variety of different professions and industries, earning a median annual salary of $37,180+ in Arizona.
5. MCCCD’s partnerships with local businesses provide more opportunities for students who are already employed. Empire Southwest employees can receive college credit for corporate training through Mesa Community College and go on to earn a bachelor’s degree at Northern Arizona University. Empire employees learn business knowledge and develop the skills needed to advance to leadership positions at Empire.
In the spring of 2020, the MCCCD launched 16,638 graduates in roles that directly impact the local workforce and have added more than $7.2 billion in revenue to Maricopa County’s economy. Community colleges in Maricopa offer the advantage of flexible schedules and affordable costs that allow learners to continue working or meeting personal obligations while earning certifications and degrees.
Gonzales added, “Additionally, there will soon be opportunities to complete a bachelor’s degree in high-demand fields – as early as fall 2023. This is just one more example of MCCCD’s ability to respond with agility to the rapidly changing needs of the workforce and to equip individuals with the skills they need to succeed immediately in their chosen career path.
Learn more about retraining or upgrading and how Maricopa Community Colleges can quickly facilitate significant changes in career trajectory at maricopa.edu.