Two Maricopa Community College Skill Centers Receive Multi-Million Dollar Federal Job-Training Grant

Oct 6, 2014



Maricopa Community Colleges announced that two of its skill centers will receive part of a $10 million federal job-training grant co-administered by the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education. The Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) competitive grant program expands community college partnerships with employers in high-demand job industries so students are ready for employment when they graduate.


A total of $10 million was awarded to a consortium led by Central Arizona College and partners GateWay Community College’s Maricopa Skill Center (MSC), Estrella Mountain Community College’s SouthWest Skill Center (SWSC), and Eastern Arizona College. This is the fourth and final round of TAACCCT funding; three Maricopa Community Colleges – Rio Salado, Estrella Mountain and Mesa – have received funding in the past.


MSC and SWSC each will receive $2.1 million. MSC will deliver enhanced Manual and CNC Machinist programs. SWSC will deliver enhanced programming in Precision Manufacturing and Industrial Electronics, as well as a new program in Industrial Maintenance. They will also establish a fabrication lab that will be part of the international “Fab Lab” network established by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


“The TAACCCT grant also will help elevate the precision machining program at the Maricopa Skill Center in Phoenix to better prepare graduates in this high-tech, high demand field,” said Al Larson, executive director of MSC. “It will allow us to expand our training lab to attract more students to the profession.”


“These investments will help prepare workers with the skills needed for in-demand careers and advance the role of community colleges as engines of economic growth,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “The award is part of a long-term commitment to ensure that American workers have access to training for the specific skills needed to stay competitive in the ever-changing job market.”


The consortium will further build on the Arizona Regional Advanced Manufacturing Professional Upgrade Project (AZ RAMP Up). Industry certifications include the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS), the American Welding Society (AWS), the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC), the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA), the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC), and NCRC +.