Leaders from Pima Community College District and Central Arizona College joined Chancellor Harper-Marinick on February 9 to sign the Arizona Advanced Technologies Corridor project charter, an innovative partnership between the three college systems that will create standardized technology curriculum. With input from private companies, including Boeing and Raytheon, common community college curriculum will prepare graduates for current and future workforce needs of manufacturing and technology industries in Arizona and beyond.
The Advance Technology Corridor project is unique in its approach to workforce training. Aligning common technology training curriculum with current and future industry needs means students will be prepared to enter the local, regional, national, or global job markets. “I’d venture to say that this partnership will become a national model for what is possible for community colleges, working together with the business community,” says Chancellor Harper-Marinick.
According to the Arizona Commerce Authority, more than 157,000 Arizonans are currently employed in manufacturing-related careers, and there is an increasing concentration of advanced manufacturing operations along the I-10 corridor from southeastern Phoenix to Tucson. In the recent months, Lucid Motors announced plans to add 2,000 jobs in a new Casa Grande facility; Intel will add 3,000 jobs in its Chandler facility; the Tucson Raytheon plant will grow by 2,000.
Developing training programs that prepare graduates for these and future jobs will create a clear pathway to employment for students, a reliable workforce for businesses, and a driver of regional economic development.