MCC joins AZ community colleges at Capitol rally

Mohave Wire

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PHOENIX – Mohave Community College joined the nine other Arizona Community College districts for a rally at the State Capitol this week, showcasing their programs, students and the staggering economic benefits they deliver to Arizona.

They gathered on the Capitol lawn to thank their legislators and Governor Doug Ducey for the one-time funding from last year and to urge them to continue to invest in Arizona Community Colleges.

Nearly 300,000 students attend community colleges throughout the state, and the financial impact statewide is $11 billion in increased wages over their working lives, equating to 5.6% of the total gross state product.

“In Mohave County alone, the college has an annual economic impact of $214 million each year, and for every dollar invested in the college, the community receives a return of $7.50,” said MCC President Dr. Stacy Klippenstein.

Dr. Klippenstein joined the College Presidents and Chancellors from around the state to kick off the event by highlighting how the 2019-2020 funds are being put to good use.  For example, Mohave Community College is making several expansions and additions with the $1.152 million it received from the state.

“We are expanding our HVAC program and creating a brand new welding facility in Bullhead City, and we are also expanding our electrical program from Kingman down to Lake Havasu,” Dr. Klippenstein announced at the capitol. “We are also using the funds to bring in state of the art equipment for the Radiologic Technology and Dental Hygiene programs, so we really do appreciate all the work our legislators have done to help Mohave Community College.”

Dr. Klippenstein said the college is working closely with local contractors and skilled trades professionals to create an apprenticeship-style program to help train more students for the local workforce.

The community college leaders from across the state also let lawmakers know that the two-year schools are the most important and accessible educational entry point for traditionally underserved students and are the number one gateway to higher education.

MCC’s Automotive Collision Director Richie Mitten and student Greg Torrez shared with lawmakers the benefits the program provides for students and the community. 

College Welding Technology Instructor Tim Grive and student Bailey Gallegos brought a virtual welding machine, so lawmakers could get a feel for the skills needed to succeed in the industry.

“Wow! This is really great,” said House Representative Michelle Udall, chair of the House Education Committee, when she operated the virtual welder.  “I’m glad you came because it helps us see the positive impact you’re having in all of your communities.”   

Udall’s comments were echoed by Representative Leo Biasiucci, who visited with the MCC instructors, students and president. He noted that the event was great because it shows lawmakers some of the community college programs they help fund to get students career-ready in high-demand jobs with skills needed by today’s employers.

For more information on how to get started at MCC, head online to Mohave.edu or call 866-MOHAVECC.

MCC employees and students at the college information booth for Community College Day at the Capitol. (L-R) – Welding Instructor Tim Grive, Welding Student Bailey Gallegos, Automotive Instructor Richie Mitten, Automotive Student Greg Torrez, Marketing Technician Andrew Corrieri.

MCC Mascot Boomer Bighorn having fun with Senator Heather Carter, chair of the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee.

House Representative Michelle Udall, chair of the House Education Committee, operating the Mohave Community College virtual welder.

Presidents and Chancellors for Arizona’s community college districts at Community College Day at the Capitol news conference . (L-R) Coconino President Dr. Colleen A. Smith, Pima Chancellor Lee Lambert, Northland Pioneer President Mark Vest, Cochise President J.D. Rottweiler, Eastern AZ President Todd Haynie, Central President Dr. Jacquelyn Elliott, Yavapai President Dr. Lisa Rhine, Mohave President Dr. Stacy Klippenstein, Arizona Western President Dr. Daniel Corr, Maricopa Chancellor Dr. Steven Gonzales.

Event Video, courtesy AZ Community Colleges