MCCCD Partners with National Governor’s Association to Reskill Workers During Pandemic

Aug, 4 2020

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The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) has teamed up with the National Governors Association (NGA) and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to help launch a new initiative to identify and arm workers with skills needed to succeed in a workforce reshaped by the pandemic.

The new initiative, the Reskilling and Recovery Network, is designed to join state and community college leaders and provide workers with programs and resources to reenter the workforce. As America’s workers face unprecedented disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, 20 states are committed to a new network linking governors’ offices, community colleges, and workforce leaders to equip workers to successfully navigate transformational changes in the economy.

The states in the network are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Colorado, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

"Our community is understandably concerned about their futures and how to prepare for the impacts of COVID-19," said Dr. Steven R. Gonzales, Interim Chancellor. "We continue to adapt the Maricopa Community Colleges to the current times with our future in mind. Many in our community are experiencing hardships because they've lost their job or a family member has lost theirs. These families are undoubtedly uneasy about what tomorrow will bring. Our Colleges understand that these concerns are very real, and are identifying every solution to ease the worry and set up our community to succeed. On behalf of the Maricopa Community Colleges, I am honored to be part of a network that will provide national resources to our local community, supporting every individual's success."

Through the network, participating states will:

  • Engage with a collaborative network of like-minded state leaders to strategize economic and workforce recovery efforts;
  • Receive access to innovative tools designed by peers in the field and be paired with experts engaged by the NGA Center and AACC; and
  • Access technical assistance, including webinars, facilitated peer-to-peer learning, virtual state site visits, and more.

“With many workers facing uncertainty due to the pandemic, we need a new approach to ensure all Arizonans have the skills and opportunity needed to thrive,” said Governor Ducey. “The Reskilling and Recovery Network will help Arizonans strengthen their professional skills and learn new ones, and it will connect employers with talent across the state. I’m grateful to all our partners working to help Arizonans excel in their professions and return stronger from COVID-19.”

The initiative will also seek to address disparities in how the health crisis has affected different groups. According to the NGA, businesses closed by the COVID-19 pandemic have led to 14 million jobs lost in the United States. Job loss during the pandemic has disproportionately affected lower-income workers concentrated in the service sector who can not work from home. According to the Federal Reserve, almost 40 percent of households making less than $40,000 a year lost their jobs in March. According to the Pew Research Center, women, immigrants, and young adults have been among the hardest hit by job losses.

The Reskilling and Recovery Network is a partnership between the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the American Association of Community Colleges, with support from Lumina Foundation and the Siemens Foundation.

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