Developing the Workforce
Partnerships are paving the way for students to attend college. If you’ve seen our students and alumni in action, you know the value they bring to the fields they pursue. Success in varied industries is measured through our workforce development and training, specifically in preparing students for transfer or to enter into their chosen career paths.
Mesa Community College’s nationally acclaimed partnerships and leading-edge workforce programs energize local economies as students earn qualifications for well-paying careers by meeting industry and business needs for skilled employees.
Mesa College Promise
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel A. Cardona visited MCC to highlight the Mesa College Promise (MCP) program and meet with Mesa Mayor John Giles, MCC President Tammy Robinson, and students in the program, bringing national attention to this city alliance with the college. One of the first Promise Programs in the state, Mesa College Promise is made possible through a partnership between MCC and the City of Mesa to fulfill its commitment to its residents that eligible graduating Mesa high school students can attend MCC for two years with Arizona resident tuition and fees fully funded. More than $760,000 dollars of government and business private match funds have been donated to the program.
The first group of 88 students began Fall 2021 semester with 201 students admitted in Fall 2022. MCC welcomed approximately 200 Promise students in Fall 2023. More than 70% of the students are the first in their families to attend college.
Not just a scholarship, the MCP includes benefits and services for success such as an academic advisor dedicated to Promise students, an iPad device for use in their studies, welcome and orientation programs, internship opportunities in Mesa businesses, and access to workshops, boot camps, tutoring, counseling, and more. Assistance begins in the high schools with completing the FAFSA, scholarship applications, and MCC enrollment.
AppleCare Technician Program
Launched at MCC in Spring 2023 at the Maricopa IT Institute-East Valley MCC Downtown Center, the new AppleCare Technician certification program provides the knowledge to support, manage, and deploy Apple products in multiple industries. Support for the new program is provided by Apple’s Community Education Initiative (CEI), which provides coding, creativity, and workforce opportunities to communities that are historically underrepresented in the technology industry. Students enrolled in prerequisite courses during Fall 2022 to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be the first to enter the new program in Spring 2023.
The MCC Technopreneur Experience is offered through the Maricopa Information Technology Institute-East Valley (MITI-EV), a higher education collaboration designed to grow talent to meet the technology needs of local businesses. Students with certifications in areas such as app development, cloud, graphic design, web development, website design, and computer programming -- all of which are taught at MCC -- work together to reach a common goal, determining a solution to a problem, while honing their business and related soft skills. Partnering with New Apprenticeship, students in the program have the opportunity to earn while working and learning technical and digital skills.
The Technopreneur Experience program, which launched in fall 2020, was developed in cooperation with teams at the Mesa Chamber of Commerce and Apple Community Education Initiative. MCC hosted conversations with health care, technology, and East Valley businesses to learn about the issues they were experiencing that technology might address. In addition to wanting employees with specific technology knowledge, businesses expressed strong desires for talent with entrepreneurial aptitude to problem solve the soft skills to work collaboratively, as well as project management experience.
Nicole Peterson, a first-generation college student who earned her Associate in Applied Science, Web Development in May 2021, said she gained valuable experience through her Technopreneur Experience capstone project. She helped create two apps -- one for Mesa business Jarrod’s Coffee, Tea & Gallery and another for ReachOutAZ.
While attending MCC in 2020 as one of the first students to enroll in the Apple Everyone Can Code class, Jason Carter was selected for the Pendergast School District Internship program offering real world experience using his app coding skills. While in the three-course Technopreneur program, he assisted MCC IT staff with preparation for the new semester of staff and student equipment, software updates, teacher laptop updates, repairing faulty equipment, and making other miscellaneous repairs and updates in Jamf, an industry-leading Mac management tool for Apple devices.
The internship also offered a partnership with the Mesa Chamber of Commerce to connect businesses with student interns to build apps promoting local businesses and providing additional hands-on training for students. One of the first apps Jason helped develop was designed to connect middle school students with mental health and crisis prevention services.
Jason went on to earn a Certificate of Completion in iOS App Development in 2022 from MCC. He remains involved in development of apps for crisis prevention and Jarrod’s Coffee House.
Semiconductor Quick Start Program
To support the growing semiconductor industry’s employment needs and welcome diverse talent into the technical workforce, a new Quick Start program at Mesa Community College was launched in partnership with Intel. The accelerated two-week program prepares students for a rewarding career as a semiconductor technician with hands-on learning from industry experienced Intel employees as instructors.
The Quick Start program consists of a series of 10, four-hour classes. Day and evening options are available. Students can earn an industry-recognized certification, three hours of college credit toward an associate degree, and a tuition stipend of $270, which covers full tuition for Arizona residents. Also, students have an opportunity to interview with Intel for full-time positions with benefits.
Shortly after Lisa Strothers was laid off from her mortgage industry job in April 2022, she received an email about the Quick Start program, which now included the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and two other community colleges in the partnership. With a bachelor's degree in film and media studies, and a master’s in human services, Strothers says she saw this as an opportunity to enter the in-demand tech field.
A week after she earned the final certification, Strothers began interviewing and landed a semiconductor processing technician role at Intel's Ocotillo factory, which she began in August 2022, just four months after she'd been laid off. She remains at Intel in a job she says is never boring and one that she views as a step in the door at Intel with many opportunities.
As of June 2023, 66% of students who enrolled in the program have been people of color, one-third have been women, and nearly half have been between the ages of 18 and 29. Among students who have attempted the full program, 93% earned the final certification.
Boeing Cable Harness Wiring Boot Camp
World-renowned aerospace firm The Boeing Company and Mesa Community College have partnered to provide aerospace industry training to launch new careers in record time–beginning in 2020 with a cable harness wiring boot camp. Boot camps are now available for Electrical Cable Harness Wiring or J-Standard (Soldering) Certifications at both MCC campuses and Chandler-Gilbert Community College.
The nine-day camps, designed to meet specific needs of Boeing, culminate with the opportunity for trainees to take the industry certification exams. Students earning the certification are reimbursed the full $255 cost of camp tuition, making the out-of-pocket investment for the training and the exam just $15 for registration. More than 1000 students have attended 298 Cable Wiring boot camps from 2019 through 2022. More than half were the first in their families to take a college course and nearly a third were female. Through the partnership, 600-plus students were hired by Boeing. Those interested in these boot camps to pursue a growth-oriented career in the aerospace industry are required to complete a pre-assessment at mesacc.edu/wiring-bootcamp.
Construction Trades Program
In response to industry needs shared by the college’s Construction Advisory Committee, Mesa Community College launched a Construction Trades program in Fall 2022. In two semesters, a Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Construction Trades, with specialization in either carpentry or electrical, can be earned. Beginning in Fall 2023, four new certificate programs will be added to the Construction Trades certification choices. Plumbing courses are being offered in Fall 2023, HVACr courses in spring 2024, and masonry and solar classes will be available in summer 2024.