East Valley Partnership Chief Roc Arnett Describes His Eden

MCC is part of this article on East Valley Partnership President Roc Arnett's game plan for the Southeast Valley for 2014.  

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“When you add up Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus, the community colleges, the private colleges that have come into Mesa and elsewhere, you’re looking at about 157,000 college students,” Arnett said. “Thirty-three percent of our persons who are 25 or older have bachelor’s degrees.

“But when you look at some of the very high-end areas like around Silicon Valley, the numbers are closer to 40 percent,” he said. He believes the Southeast Valley needs to “change the culture of education” so higher education will be the assumed next step for any East Valley high-school graduate.

After all, with about 20 colleges in the region, they have plenty of options.

In addition to ASU, downtown Mesa’s new arrivals — Benedictine, Wilkes and Westminster — “need to be supported,” Arnett said. Community colleges, such as Mesa and Chandler-Gilbert, boast tech-driven programs that can prepare students to earn $60,000-plus a year at local companies such as Boeing, Arnett said.

The East Valley Partnership works to strengthen the college-to-corporate pipeline as well. With State Farm and USAA opening additional offices in the Valley, it will focus on insurance-industry jobs this year. 

Page 2 under "Education."