When Tucson-area manufacturers realized they didn't have enough skilled workers to fill their jobs, they partnered with high school and community college classes to create their workforce. A few years later, signs show it's working.
The partnership between Pima Community College, Pima County's workforce development program, Tucson and Sunnyside school districts, and manufacturing companies is called Southern Arizona Manufacturing Partners.
Before the partnership, manufacturers were essentially poaching workers from one another, said Don Theriault, president of Industrial Tool Die and Engineering, Inc. Now, he said, they get students who have three years of machining training from high school and who are studying manufacturing in college. The students are paid for their work,while they continue learning in school and developing skills on the job.
Pima Community College Students Evelyn Plascencia and Brandon McCaskey say they have found their passion in machining and manufacturing.
Hear from them in the latest episode of Metro Week, above.
Also in this episode
Lori'ell Reyes is the Rodeo Queen of the Tohono O'odham Rodeo this weekend. It's the 79th year for the event, plus fair and parade. Reyes and bull- and bronco-rider Jalen Joaquin say the event is more special than other rodeos they compete in, because it's on their home turf, the nation's capitol in Sells.
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