Connecting the Divide Between Education and Employment

Aug, 25 2020


COVID-19 has transformed our nation’s workforce, challenging our communities to adjust to a new “normal.” The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) has come together, in bold efforts, to address Arizona’s new workforce demands and provide our community with the skills needed to be successful during and after a global pandemic.  According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arizona has seen an increase in unemployment from June to July 2020. With over 377,307 Arizona residents who have filed for unemployment this past July, it has caused a ripple effect on job and industry demands. The employment and in-demand industries reports from the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity projected the highest growth  in the following industries:

  • construction
  • health care and social assistance
  • professional and technical services
  • information technology
  • finance and insurance

In alignment with MCCCD’s vision to be Colleges for the community, working collectively to meet the educational demands of the diverse students and communities, it serves, MCCCD has taken part in the Reskilling and Recovery Network initiative. The initiative prepares Arizonians to return to a competitive workforce more agile and upskilled. The Workforce Development initiative creates a pipeline of extraordinarily skilled professionals to meet the qualifications of current high-demand professions across the state to foster a healthy economy and local community amid COVID-19. 

To optimally assist the Arizona economy and workforce, MCCCD has established multiple break-through programs and collaborations that produce highly skilled industry leaders. The Maricopa Community Colleges offer more than 40 career-focused programs through Career and Technical Education (CTE) in high demand organizations such as Information Technology and Healthcare. A perfect example of these innovative efforts is the Amazon Web Services certificate program that propels learners towards tech careers in a growing cloud computing industry. Likewise, in a recent collaboration with Intel and the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) MCCCD will deliver Arizona's first Artificial Intelligence certificate and degree program.

The Maricopa Community Colleges also provide construction trades that quickly qualify students for entry into a variety of careers — like electricians, plumbers, HVAC techs, carpenters, foreman, project managers, and construction site managers. Additionally, MCCCD offers a full range of healthcare programs that include a newly launched Specialty Nursing Program that provides specialized training that can provide expert care for the community during the present health care crisis. During such times of uncertainty, MCCCD is proud to deliver consistent access to educational opportunities. 

MCCCD is prepared to support students in rebuilding their skill sets and recover from the fall out of the pandemic. If you are looking to start a meaningful career explore our career-oriented and trade-focused program offerings and equip yourself for the new and competitive labor market. Together we can close the employment opportunity gap we see across the state through meaningful learning opportunities and strengthen Arizona’s workforce.


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