As one of the preeminent leaders in workforce development training, GateWay Community College is no stranger to meeting the needs of business and industry in Arizona. With nearly 4 million skilled-trade job vacancies across the country, the college is rising to the occasion to address the shortage by launching the brand new Center for Industrial Technology (CIT).
With new equipment and a remodel underway, the new center brings together five of the college's existing programs: Industrial Design Technology, Automotive, HVAC, Water Resources and Environmental Science Technology, and Water and Wastewater Treatment. While the programs have existed for some time, the center is providing a renovation to the facilities and equipment, creating better access to the existing state-of-the-art labs.
"We know the demand is there through our business and municipal partners. At GateWay, we know how to train workers more efficiently than anyone," said Dr. Craig Urbanski, division chair for the Center of Industrial Technology. "There are high-paying, highly-skilled jobs waiting for our graduates after completing our programs. People have trusted GateWay for over 50 years. They know the quality of what we do."
As the first technical college in Arizona, GateWay has emerged through the pandemic relatively unscathed. The college was recently ranked as the 2022 top community college in Arizona for the second time in three years. It was also recently rated as one of the top 50 community colleges for graduate earnings for a second year. Despite the accolades, the college recognizes more work to be done.
"All of the programs we offer through the Center for Industrial Technology have great career prospects," said Dr. Steve Meneses, Dean of Business, Technology, and Trades at the college. "Our programs have strong industry partnerships and offer an accessible route to a better future. With the skilled labor shortage our industries are facing, GateWay serves a critical role in this state's economy."
The new Center for Industrial Technology will be hosting information sessions throughout the summer to help students get matched to the right program. With tuition starting at just $85 per credit hour for in-state residents, GateWay has offered its students an accessible education while ensuring they are not burdened with overwhelming student debt after graduation.
"The Center for Industrial Technology programs emphasize how big of a role we play in our community as a leading workforce development college," said Dr. Amy Diaz, interim president. "Ultimately, our college's mission has always been helping students take the most direct and affordable path to high-paying jobs. The critical industries this new center serves are vital to everyone."
With the potential for new programs on the horizon, GateWay hopes the new center will bring additional opportunities for expansion and industry partnerships.
"I've had so many partners calling us recently, it seems like my phone has been ringing non-stop," said Urbanski. "They need our graduates, and we need them. That is the reason our college has been so successful."
With demand for GateWay's programs at all-time highs, Urbanski may need to invest in an extra phone line.
For more information about GateWay Community College's new Center for Industrial Technology, please visit www.gatewaycc.edu/cit.