TEMPE, AZ, July 31, 2019 — The Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest workforce training providers in the country, attended the White House celebration of the Pledge to America's Workers month to share Maricopa’s innovative efforts to equip Arizona’s workforce with the skills needed for tomorrow’s economy.
"The Maricopa Community Colleges believe in preparing our community with the skills needed to be successful in the workforce of tomorrow," said Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick, MCCCD Chancellor. "We are committed to building a sustainable workforce and thank the White House for recognizing our innovative programs that help the economy and place our students in successful careers."
The Maricopa Community Colleges train and provide certifications for 95 percent of the most in-demand jobs in Arizona with almost 90 percent of students staying in Maricopa County after graduation. Empowering job seekers with skills needed to succeed in today’s workforce is at the core of the mission at the Maricopa Community Colleges.
Mesa Community College (MCC) student, Hannah Cheloha shared the District's recent development of RISE, an iOS app. The App connects people with sources for nominally priced food, shelter, and healthcare. Conceived as a class project, in MCC's Everyone Can Code Classroom, the resource locator is now available in the iTunes App Store. One of the project's objectives is to help students more easily connect with basic needs and resources, affording them more opportunities to focus on education versus where to find food, shelter, and healthcare.
“It was an incredible honor to be invited to the White House by Apple to represent Maricopa Community Colleges and the Everyone Can Code program,” said Hannah Chelolah, MCC student. “Using the coding skills I learned through earning the swift micro certificate I contributed to the Resources, Information, and Services for Everyone (RISE) app. The RISE app was designed and created by a team including Maricopa faculty, my fellow classmates, and myself to help students find food, shelter, and other resources. At the White House, I heard testimonials from American workers about how pledges like Apple’s are helping American workers increase skills, earn higher incomes, and achieve promotions. I have personally reaped the benefits of Apple’s pledge and feel confident that workers in Arizona can increase their job skills and marketability by earning the swift micro certificate through MCCCD. I am grateful for the amazing opportunity I had to represent MCCCD and to openly support the Everyone Can Code program at the White House.”
Though the RISE app was developed for and by MCC students, the tool functions using geolocators, expanding its usefulness for all the Maricopa County Community College District students, community college systems, and higher education institutions across the country. RISE also allows organizations and businesses to promote basic needs resources and services to app users with custom marker locations.
The Everyone Can Code project was built by faculty to create a nine-credit micro-certificate that students can complete in less than a year leading to employability. In 2017, there were over 10,000 unfilled jobs in Maricopa County Arizona with the designation of application software developer or programmer. This program attracted a diverse student population from high school students to retirees from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and abilities. In its first year (2017-2018), over 75 students took classes in iOS development. In two short years, more than two dozen students earned certificates of completion for successfully completing all three courses.
"Offering programs like App development reinforce key initiatives to align education programs around the skills needed in Arizona's economy," said Dr. Harper-Marinick. "Our programs, faculty, and students are providing the community with tremendous social and economic benefits, enabling economic growth for our community."
Below are some highlights of recent MCCCD initiatives:
- Mesa, Chandler-Gilbert and Scottsdale Community Colleges have partnered with the East Valley cities and technology companies, such as Apple, to launch first-ever coding, cloud and networking certification and degree opportunities through the creation of a Maricopa IT Institute at Mesa.
- Phoenix College launched a new S-STEM scholarship program for more than 11,000 students. The scholarship offers significant financial assistance to students who are pursuing degrees in the fields of computer science, engineering, and related STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields that lead to potential engineering careers.
- As part of its designation as a Red Hat Academy, Glendale Community College (GCC) launched a new program that teaches students how to deploy, administer, manage and secure Red Hat Enterprise Linux and prepare them to take the Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA EX200) certification exam. In addition, students who complete their courses will be able to take this certification exam at a 50 percent discounted rate.
- Mesa Community College now offers a Blockchain Technology Certificate of Completion, becoming one of the first community colleges in the country to provide a blockchain technology certificate program that will prepare students for emerging high-tech careers.
- For the first time, Phoenix College is now offering a Micro-NanoTechnology course that provides students with hands-on laboratory experience. Students are learning how to use advanced instrumentation such as a scanning electron microscope (SEM) to view very small objects, energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDXS) to determine the elemental makeup of objects, and an atomic force microscope (AFM) to study three-dimensional topography and properties surfaces at extremely high magnification levels.
- Scottsdale Community College unveiled a state-of-the-art, expanded computer networking lab to help students become certified and trained in cloud computing and virtualization. SCC’s lab and virtual data center’s expanded capacity now supports 1,000 virtual machines.
- Nearly all Maricopa Community Colleges continue to work on expanding allied health opportunities to meet consistently growing community and health system needs, including a partnership with the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Foundation to establish incumbent worker upskilling certifications in high-demand specialty areas.
“These initiatives reflect our enduring investment in the future of our students and our community. As we roll out additional components of our agenda, the Maricopa Community Colleges will focus on innovations inside and outside the classroom to ensure the best results for students, families and taxpayers,” added Chancellor Harper-Marinick.
Most recently, Governor Doug Ducey proposed a budget that includes a $6 million investment in healthcare training programs for the Maricopa Community Colleges. The Governor’s budget also makes the Maricopa Community Colleges teaching certification students eligible for $21 million proposed state investment for tuition waivers to support the Arizona Teachers Academy.
“We are pleased to have Governor Ducey’s support and commitment to building these programs,” said Dr. Harper Marinick. “As the largest job training provider in the state, we look forward to the continued collaboration with industry and state leaders to strengthen our exceptional programs that enhance our student’s skills and enable them to be more competitive in today’s economy.”
Media Contact: Dasi Danzig, 480-268-6766, email@example.com
About Maricopa Community Colleges
The Maricopa County Community College District includes ten regionally-accredited colleges – Chandler-Gilbert, Estrella Mountain, GateWay, Glendale, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Rio Salado, Scottsdale, and South Mountain – and the Maricopa Corporate College, serving more than 200,000 students with two-year degrees, certificates, and university transfer programs.