Wilson Electric Employee working

Central Arizona College Celebrates Arizona Apprenticeship Week, Recognizing Successful Business Partnerships

By Angela Askey, Executive Director Public Relations and Marketing

Central Arizona College is celebrating Arizona Apprenticeship Week, November 15-21, 2020. CAC is providing innovative training and opportunities for companies to upskill their employees to ensure that Pinal County has a strong workforce.

In 2019, CAC, in partnership with Pima Community College and the Maricopa Community College District, received the Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Model in Manufacturing (IRAMM) Department of Labor grant to help Arizona’s manufacturers expand and strengthen their workforce. The grant focuses on a Learn & Earn model whereby apprentices receive classroom training at CAC while shadowing an experienced journeyperson during work hours. Apprenticeships provide cutting-edge training and give employers the ability to develop their own talent while reducing turnover.

In addition, CAC works collaboratively with Resolution Copper and Abbott Nutrition to develop apprenticeship pathways tailored to meet their specific workforce needs. To ensure they have fully-trained, multi-craft professionals, Abbott Nutrition provides their employees with an opportunity to attend the fully Automated Industrial Technology apprenticeship program and plans to hire several CAC students that have completed the one-credit online Manufacturing Pre-apprenticeship course.

The partnership with Resolution Copper is providing local workforce development opportunities while allowing the company’s employees to develop the skills required to safely operate and maintain the assets on site, including the recently completed Shaft 9 project. The apprenticeship program students work safely in highly sought-after technical roles, and will continue to be employed, applying their excellent skills and qualifications upon completion of the program in December

Just this past year, CAC and Wilson Electric, a major employer in Arizona, developed a program at the college’s Superstition Mountain Campus in Apache Junction. Students begin their studies at CAC in a 16 week, fast-track, pre-apprentice program where they earn industry recognized credentials and a college certificate. Upon successful completion of the program, students who are hired by Wilson Electric begin employment and continue to work toward their journeyperson status. To date, Wilson has hired 80% of the CAC graduates from this program.