Gap Inc. Awards MCC Grant

MESA, Arizona – Mesa Community College Fashion Merchandising & Design Department has received a 2015 grant from Gap Inc. to help prepare community college students for the workforce through on-campus and in-store learning. The Gap Inc. for Community Colleges (GIFCC) Program is a partnership with the White House "Skills for America's Future" initiative and will offer strategic job and career building skills to students.

Gap Inc. employees will facilitate workshops for the students utilizing in-house training on career-building skills. There is also an opportunity for students to gain valuable insight by participating in job shadow assignments in the stores. 

Upon completion of the program, there is the possibility for employment at Gap Inc. and the chance to for students who have completed the courses to be awarded scholarships. MCC has received a similar grant from Gap, Inc. each year for the past four years.

“This program benefits our students greatly by helping them build the foundation they need to grow and compete in the fast-changing global retail industry,” said Evonne Bowling, MCC’s Fashion Program Director. “It provides real-life experience and empowers them by teaching important skills for future success.”

Additionally, the 2015 Gap group at MCC will create their own service learning project to work within the community.  Volunteers hours will serve as additional criteria for the scholarship choices. This April, 23 students participated in a Goodwill project to learn about sustainability and priced new merchandise for sale in the stores.  Students also re-wrapped 432 rugs for sale.

Bowling said that many MCC students work full time and pay for their own classes. The scholarships allow students to take more classes and complete their degree much faster.

One of Bowling’s former students, Elizabeth Tingen, said her experience with the GAP Training Program was invaluable. After graduating with three associate degrees and one certificate from MCC, she transferred to Arizona State University and is on track to graduate in December.

“The leaders who taught the workshops were very energetic and dedicated to their company,” Tingen said.  “They took time to come out and work with us because they cared—not only did they care about us, but they really wanted the community to benefit as well.”

Tingen would like to work for GAP upon graduation and will apply for their nine-month training program in the next few weeks. She said her experience with Bowling at MCC was the start of her career.

“I would absolutely recommend the program to anyone,” Tingen said.  “Evonne Bowling was always our biggest cheerleader, not just for me, but every student in the program.”


Contact: Dawn Zimmer, 480-461-7892,

About Mesa Community College
Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for its high-quality educational programs, which include university transfer, career and technical, workforce development, and life-long learning.  Host to 40,000 students annually, MCC offers more than 200 degrees and certificates at its two campuses and additional locations.  Our diverse student body hails predominantly from the East Valley region of metropolitan Phoenix, and international students from 50 countries enrich the learning experience.  Award-winning faculty dedicated to student success provide the education and training that empower MCC students to compete locally and globally. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015, MCC is one of 11 colleges that comprise the Maricopa County Community College District. For additional information, visit

About MCC’s Fashion Merchandising & Design Program

Students in Mesa Community College’s Fashion Merchandising & Design program learn about textiles, clothing construction, display and visual merchandising, the fashion industry, and much more. The Apparel Merchandising track allows students to select courses that reflect a special area of interest such as business management, advertising, or buying. The Fashion Design track offers opportunities to select courses that are in your field of study -- design, illustration, and clothing construction. An integral part of the program is an internship that provides on-the-job experience under the supervision of a professional in the retail field.

About Gap, Inc.

Gap Inc. is a leading global retailer offering clothing, accessories and personal care products for men, women and children under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta and Intermix brands. Gap Inc. products are available for purchase in more than 90 countries worldwide through about 3,300 company-operated stores, almost 400 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites.

The Maricopa County Community College District is an EEO/AA institution and an
equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Source Details

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, May 20, 2015