MCC partners with Local First Arizona to help put more people into quality local jobs

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MOHAVE COUNTY – Mohave Community College has partnered with Local First Arizona to help create and expand industry-led training programs as part of a five-county network.

The Northern Arizona Good Jobs Network (NAGJN) will serve Mohave, Coconino, Yavapai, Apache and Navajo counties. The College will join a network of partners including municipal, state and county governments, local businesses, nonprofits and economic development groups to help develop and implement the project, which will offer assistance to the unemployed and underemployed throughout the region.

“This is such a great opportunity for the College to expand our workforce training efforts regionally and ensure they continue to align with business and industry needs,” said Dr. Kirk Lacy, MCC Dean of Workforce and Regional Partnerships. “The end goal is to get more people trained for employment opportunities that provide good pay, benefits and growth opportunities.”

MCC and the other community colleges will be instrumental in helping create and expand industry-led workforce training programs designed to provide skills for, and connect workers to, existing and emerging job opportunities in four focus sectors: healthcare & social services, retail & hospitality, manufacturing & transportation, and construction.  

The NAGJN project has three phases:

System Development – identifying skills needs and hiring commitments from employers and translating those into effective training-to-employment models.

Program Design – assisting employers to identify in-demand industry hiring needs and market analysis; develop training models and curriculum necessary for preparing trained and skilled workers; conduct ongoing gap analyses to determine how existing and new training models can be scaled to eliminate unnecessary hiring requirements while developing talent pipelines with required skills; secure employer commitments to hire; and conduct outreach to recruit underserved workers to participate in the program.

Program Implementation – recruiting program participants with a focus on underserved workers and those who are unemployed or underemployed; deliver skills training and provide wraparound services to participants; and place workers into well-paying, quality jobs.

“The Northern Arizona Good Jobs Network is an exciting and innovative way to develop new educational programs to meet the needs of employers who chose this region to locate and grow their businesses,” said Local First Arizona Director of Rural Development Jenna Rowell. “Through extensive collaboration, we will design approaches that accelerate more workers into quality jobs in these areas of our state, helping to boost local economic prosperity in rural communities.”

Former Governor Doug Ducey recognized the importance of the NAGJIN project and set aside federal funds the state received, so Local First Arizona could implement the project in the five rural counties. 

Founded in 2003, Local First Arizona is a nonprofit organization committed to community and economic development throughout Arizona and also serves as the state’s federally designated Rural Development Council. The NAGJN is federally funded through a grant awarded by the State of Arizona. 

For questions regarding the project and how to get involved as a partner with MCC, please email Dr. Kirk Lacy at KLacy@Mohave.edu.