Maricopa Community Colleges and City of Mesa Announce New Mesa IT Institute

Partnership Bridges Industry Employability Gap

TEMPE, Arizona -- March 28, 2018 -- Maricopa Community Colleges is announcing the new Information Technology Institute at Mesa to meet the emerging technological workforce’s demand for talent in areas of app development, big data, cloud computing, mobile and wearable technology, and the Internet of Things.

“With technological development accelerating at warp speed, the next generation of jobs are already in demand today,” said Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick, MCCCD Chancellor. “In an innovative move, MCCCD will bridge the IT employability gap with a new Information Technology Institute. As an educational partner with the local industry, the Institute will provide the high-tech skills for our students to meaningfully connect with future employers and better compete in today’s modern economy for the higher-level, higher-wage IT vacancies.”

With the Greater Phoenix region expecting to add 20,000+ IT jobs in the next decade with an additional 10,000 IT jobs over the next six years in just the Mesa Community College service area alone, the need for a well-equipped technology workforce is paramount. 

The high-demand information technology jobs in the city of Mesa include Computer Systems Analysts, Computer Programmers, Software/App Developers, Database Administrators, Network and Computer Systems and Computer User Support Specialist Administrators. These IT jobs pay well, too, with the median IT wage double the pay of all jobs in Maricopa County. 

To gain insight for the development of the Institute and ensure a seamless connection between the classroom and real-life work, dozens of representatives from local and national businesses with ties to Mesa provided their input on the most important employability skills. Several employers such as Apple Inc., Blackboard, CenturyLink, and HP Inc., committed support to the Institute in the form of technical assistance, project planning, workshops, and seminars for students and faculty. 

Input from the Mesa Chamber of Commerce, East Valley Partnership, and the City of Mesa were also sought, ensuring the integration of regional and local economic development objectives.

“We already have many pieces in place for a thriving downtown Mesa where businesses, schools, government, retail, and transit can all come together to create an innovative environment,” said Mayor John Giles. “The City of Mesa is committed to supporting and growing this budding ecosystem to create a flourishing, diverse, and unique environment second to none. The MCC IT Institute would advance each of these efforts by bringing tech focused students, professors, and other resources to downtown Mesa.”

As a vital component of the City of Mesa’s Innovation District, MCCCD’s IT Institute will operate out of the college’s Downtown Center, 145 N. Centennial Way, Mesa beginning fall of 2018, until a permanent facility is identified. 

To provide valuable learning, on-the-job experiences, apprenticeships, internships, and capstone projects will be part of the course work to benefit both the local community and the students’ skills. Industry recognized micro-credentials will be issued allowing students to immediately demonstrate competencies to employers as they are earned.

“By embedding employability skills in course competencies, and inspiring students to apply their knowledge in workplace situations, we are providing the mastery necessary to meet the rapidly changing and ever evolving needs of the IT industry,” said Sasan Poureetezadi, Mesa Community College Interim President. 

“Mesa’s IT Institute will focus on entry- and mid-level career readiness for the IT sector, including courses to up-skill incumbent workers,” said Dr. Linda Collins, Department Chair of Business and Information Systems at Mesa Community College.

Learning opportunities will be offered in-person, online, hybrid and in compressed scheduling models to efficiently and effectively ready students to serve local businesses. Students will choose courses of study from a diverse menu based on high demand skills such as app development with Apple’s swift/Xcode, Blockchain, SQL/SQL Server, software development, JAVA, project management, technical support, Red Hat Linux, Oracle, customer service, software engineering, Microsoft C# and .NET Programming. 

“MCCCD is honored to be part of the equation in making Mesa a state-of-the-art technological hub and is proud to prepare students for a successful place in the future workforce,” said Chancellor Maria Harper-Marinick. With the City of Mesa growing from the 38th to 36th largest city in the U.S., Mayor Giles is still quick to add that, “Getting better is more important than getting bigger.” Well, with the new MCCCD IT Institute on the horizon, getting better looks more than promising.

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Matt Hasson (MCCCD), or 480-717-0208
Dawn Zimmer (Mesa Community College), or 602-471-5343

The Maricopa County Community College District includes 10 regionally-accredited colleges – Chandler-Gilbert, Estrella Mountain, GateWay, Glendale, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Rio Salado, Scottsdale, and South Mountain, serving more than 200,000 students with two-year degree, certificate, and university transfer programs. Earlier this year, College Choice ranked four Maricopa Community Colleges among the top 50 best community colleges in the United States.

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for service-learning, career and technical programs, civic engagement and innovative approaches to higher education. The college serves as a resource for career readiness, transfer education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 30,000 students annually, MCC offers more than 150 degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations. MCC is an emerging Hispanic Serving Institution with a diverse student body that enriches the learning experience. Renowned faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to compete locally and nationally. MCC, located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, is one of 10 colleges comprising the Maricopa County Community College District. For additional information, Visit

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA)

Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the college.

The Maricopa Community Colleges do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities.  For Title IX/504 Concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator:  (480) 731-8499.  For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit the following weblink:

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Publication Date: 
Wednesday, March 28, 2018