PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today called for historic investments into Arizona’s community colleges to empower the state’s workforce with the skills of the future.
In his 2022 State of the State Address, Governor Ducey said:
“Let’s invest in the worker, arming them with the skills they need for our growing semiconductor and advanced manufacturing industries. Whether your top issue is workforce, or rural jobs – this is the way to do it: Our budget makes historic investments into community colleges to empower our people with a quality education and the skills of the future.”
Through targeted investments, Governor Ducey is proposing to establish six advanced manufacturing training centers facilitated by community colleges across the state. The details will be included in the release of the Governor’s Budget Proposal on Friday.
With collaboration among government, industry and academia, these workforce accelerators will form a network of job training centers to prepare Arizonans for next generation jobs. Arizona’s advanced manufacturers will partner on the project, streamlining the student-to-skilled-labor pipeline and ensuring skills training aligns with in-demand jobs.
In May 2021, Governor Ducey signed legislation enabling community colleges to offer four-year degrees. Community colleges are critical for 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.
In March 2021, Arizona launched Drive48, an advanced 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 fields such as automotive assembly, advanced manufacturing, heavy equipment and more. Housed at Central Arizona College in Pinal County, Drive48 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 first-of-its-kind partnership called the Arizona Advanced Technology Network. Maricopa County Community College District, Central Arizona College and Pima Community College partnered to develop a unified, industry-recognized curriculum specifically designed to teach the skills needed for high-paying, high-tech advanced manufacturing jobs.
Manufacturing jobs in Arizona have increased at one of the fastest rates in the nation, with the second fastest job growth rate from 2016 to 2020. Nearly 177,000 Arizonans now work in the manufacturing industry.
Advanced manufacturing industry leaders to announce major relocations or expansions in recent years include Intel, Benchmark Electronics, Lucid Motors, TSMC, ElectraMeccanica, Raytheon, KORE Power and more.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant job loss, disproportionately affecting service workers. In addition, disruptions of the manufacturing and transportation industries exposed critical issues in the supply chain. The newly proposed advanced manufacturing training centers will address both of these issues.