Paradise Valley Community College

In order to meet the demands of the rapid business growth in the Phoenix-metro area, Paradise Valley Community College is launching the Maricopa Business Institute to bring students and business employers together to create a stronger workforce that positions organizations and Greater Phoenix for ongoing success. 

“This powerful ecosystem will create opportunities for students at PVCC and within the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD), while also yielding solutions for employers,” said PVCC President Dr. Tiffany E. Hunter.

For more than a decade, Arizona has been the fastest growing city and businesses need to keep up. According to the City of Phoenix, one of the main challenges facing businesses are finding qualified workers and then retaining them. Nearly 45% of businesses surveyed were unable to find qualified applicants, specifically in the fields of nursing, technicians, information technology and network support specialists.

Through the Maricopa Business Institute, students win by accessing internships and job opportunities through Maricopa’s established business alliance; employers win by connecting to a pool of skilled, ready-to-work performers as well as opportunities for upskilling current staff for retention and advancement. 

“We have the opportunity to serve our partners and produce top talent, then continue to help them with on-the-job training,” said Dr. Brianna DeGeus, executive director, Strategic Partnerships, PVCC.

“The Business Institute represents a strategic partnership to drive economic and workforce development, while anticipating future workforce needs by providing proactive training and education, as well as partners in business development, retention and expansion."

The Business Institute offers a comprehensive approach to meeting a variety of business needs through a combination of core academic and certificate programs and career, and alumni services. The three components include:

  1. Recruit Talent — Get into the high schools, tapping into nearly 50,000 students, and make sure they are aware of the various certificate programs available to them before they graduate. That way, they have entry-level skills to jumpstart their career while continuing their education.

  2. Retain Talent — Acquiring young talent with certifications already under their belt benefits both the employee and employer; incentives to retain those employees starts here through tuition assistance and building on those certificate programs.

  3. Convene Industry — Continuing to spread the word is key; the more businesses assisted, the more Arizona’s workforce is strengthened. 

The Business Institute is aligned with various businesses throughout the metro area including the Arizona Center for African American Resources, the Arizona Association of Accounting and Tax Professionals, Jackson Hewitt, Black Box, Mayo Clinic, HonorHealth and Jobs for Arizona’s graduates.

For example, at HonorHealth, PVCC students continue to work with HonorHealth, partnering with multiple law enforcement agencies, medical emergency services and other organizations to offer full-scale emergency response drills. These comprehensive training exercises demonstrate active response capabilities, coordination and communication during mass shooting emergency situations, while identifying factors that may hinder successful coordination between agencies in the future.

PVCC is partnering with Jackson Hewitt and Fresh Start Women’s Foundation to expand the pool of highly qualified tax preparers. This strategic alliance between education, business and non-profit partners provides students the opportunity to acquire in-demand job skills and offers guaranteed interviews at Jackson Hewitt for Fresh Start women and PVCC students who successfully complete the Enrolled Agent certificate program.

PVCC is one of the 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation. Established in 1987, PVCC offers academic courses leading to associate degrees, university transfer, certificates and short-term job training for residents of northeast Phoenix and northern Maricopa County, including Cave Creek, Carefree and north Scottsdale.

To learn more about the Maricopa Business Institute, visit paradisevalley.edu/maricopa-business-institute or contact PVCC’s Office of Strategic Partnerships at 602-787-6570.

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