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SPECIAL REPORT 2019

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

PIMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE VISION FOR THE FUTURE


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A

Center of

Pima Community College’s Vision for the Future

By Romi Carrell Wittman It’s not a stretch to suggest that if you haven’t taken a class or two at Pima Community College, you have a friend or family member who has during Pima’s 50 years in existence. Pima serves a unique market: generally older students – the average age of a Pima student is 28 – who are working full time while going to school and, oftentimes, are also raising families. These students – called “non-traditional” in higher-education lingo – look to Pima for everything from classes to earn an associate’s degree, to classes they can transfer to a four-year university, to training in highly specialized skillsets.

Currently more than 20,000 students are enrolled in classes at Pima. Chancellor Lee Lambert joined Pima in 2013 at a time when the college was struggling. It had been dogged by a very public controversy over changes made by the previous administration, related accreditation issues, as well as a general disconnection from the community. When asked why he made the decision to join an organization facing such difficult issues, Lambert smiled. “I like a challenge,” he said. “I don’t typically go out and look for jobs. I look at places where I think I can bring value.” Lambert said that when he learned

1966 The citizens of Pima County approve, by a large margin, the formation of Pima College.

1967 Pima selects 500 acres on the west side of Tucson as the site of its first campus.

of Pima and its challenges, he had a revelation. “I said to myself that my background would be helpful to add value to a place that had been one of the bright spots in the community college system – but somewhere along the way lost its way,” he said. “I’m a big believer in accountability and transparency and I knew I was up for the challenge.” After arriving in Tucson, Lambert quickly saw the disconnect between Pima and the business community. To put it bluntly, Pima wasn’t providing the education needed to adequately prepare the local workforce for available 1969

As construction on West Campus begins, Pima’s first classes meet at Tucson Medical Center.

1970 Pima College officially opens in August, enrolling 3,543 students. With five of 11 buildings at West Campus still incomplete, the first classes are held in a hangar at Tucson International Airport.

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jobs. The result? Good, well-paying jobs often went unfilled. According to the National Skills Coalition, the jobs of the future will demand what’s known as “middle skills” – jobs that require more than a high school education, but less than a fouryear degree. Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce reports that Arizona ranks No. 1 in the country in the growth of so-called “good jobs” – those that pay from $17 to $22 an hour. The majority of these jobs require middle skills or more. Lambert saw arming students with middle skills not only as an opportu1971 West Campus construction is completed.

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nity for Pima to fill a need, but also as a necessity for the community. Lambert quickly became a highly visible ambassador of sorts for the college. He made a point of connecting with local business leaders and engaging with them to determine their workforce needs. He then hired Ian Roark as VP of Workforce Development to further these connections. “I saw there wasn’t a direct connection between business and the college,” Roark said, echoing Lambert. “This needed to be rebuilt. People had difficulty navigating the college.” Under Lambert’s leadership, Roark

sought to move the concept of workforce development to a more holistic model – one that actively engages business leaders so that high-quality, relevant workforce training curricula could be developed. “We are good listeners and observers,” Roark said. “We have to be able to understand the true needs of the business community. We understand that the needs of business and industry are not monolithic. We’re listening to each industry.” Lambert and Roark also wanted to give students multiple ways to access continued on page 72 >>>

1972

1975

1978

1981

The Board of Governors changes the name of Pima College to Pima Community College to better reflect the college’s mission statement.

The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools fully accredits Pima Community College .

For the first time, Pima enrolls more female than male students, a trend that has continued through today.

For the first time, Pima awards more than 1,000 associate’s degrees at graduation.

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PHOTOS: COURTESY PIMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

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TIMELINE

1983

Pima offers eight three-credit courses on the Cox Cable Channel.

1989

Pima signs an agreement with the University of Arizona to encourage Pima students to transfer to UA.

1991

The Center for the Arts opens at West Campus.

1992

Fall enrollment grows to more than 30,000 students.

1993

Desert Vista Campus opens.

1997

Community Campus opens.

1998

2000

Pima establishes the Northwest Community Learning Center, which would later be replaced by Northwest Campus.

Pima incorporates Pima County Adult Education Program into the college

2003

Northwest Campus opens.

2004

The PCC Foundation receives its first $1 million gift.

2006

2009

2010

Pima completes its first College Plan. The current iteration of the plan maps out strategies for Pima through 2021. Pima celebrates its 40th anniversary with community events and a fundraising gala. Pima is a finalist in the 2010 Bellwether Awards, which recognize innovative community college initiatives. continued on page 74 >>>

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continued from page 71 programs. “You can’t have a linear program,” Roark said. This means giving credit for prior learning and work experience, something that’s particularly beneficial for veterans seeking to return to school. “Pima Online is the fastest growing part of the college,” Lambert said, speaking to the point of accessibility. “Through Pima Online to date, we’ve been able to reduce textbook costs to students by more than $1 million.” Lambert points to this as an example of using technology to provide affordable, accessible education to students. These various and multi-layered factors are ultimately what led to the concept of Centers of Excellence – or COEs – across Pima’s various campuses. The COEs are the foundation of Lambert’s longterm vision for the college and will serve to greatly advance economic development throughout Southern Arizona. What is a Center of Excellence? Lambert says a COE embodies thought leadership combined with best practices in higher education and student learning. “We’re looking at Industry 4.0 and globalization and how this is redefining the notion of work. We have to make sure the college is in a place to help,” Lambert said. “We need to make sure we’re relevant in what we offer.” Pima’s educational and facilities master plans call for major advancements in facilities and equipment, as well as in the quality and structure of its educational programs. The Centers of Excellence are the next stage of that work, with an end goal of increasing the quality and quantity of a highly skilled workforce. The expectation is this will result in increased opportunities community-wide, for employers as well as employees. The 10-year vision for the high-tech, collaborative Centers of Excellence is about $300 million, funded largely through bonds and fundraising. Lambert and his team have identified several key areas around

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which Pima’s Centers of Excellence will be built. Lambert says construction of each COE will take place over several years. Applied Technology

To be located at Pima’s Downtown Campus on Stone Avenue, the COE for Applied Technology will focus on transportation and logistics, advanced manufacturing with an emphasis on aerospace and defense, and infrastructure with an emphasis on mining and energy technology. New courses in diesel technology, quality assurance, optics and photonics, and autonomous vehicle technology are also in the works. Lambert has identified this as a top priority and it’s the first COE Pima is undertaking. “The goal is to prepare students for high-wage, high-skill jobs,” Roark said. Caterpillar, self-driving truck firm TuSimple and AGM Container Controls have actively worked with Pima to develop courses that upskill employees in the field of applied technology. Caterpillar sent some of its engineers to Pima to take machining classes, so they would have a better understanding of how the designs they create affect day-today operations. TuSimple reached out to Pima in an effort to provide training for truck drivers who were at risk of being replaced by an autonomous truck. “There was a narrative that we were destroying jobs,” said Robert Brown, director of public affairs at TuSimple, “We didn’t want to be a negative disruption in the community.” Brown reached out to Roark and together they looked to see how former long-haul truck drivers could be upskilled. “We asked, ‘What skills does the modern truck driver need?’ ” The answers weren’t always obvious. “Logistics came to mind, as did diesel mechanics,” Brown said. Curriculum was then developed around these needed skillsets – yet continued on page 74 >>>

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Now we do have a vision. We know where we’re going.

Lee Lambert

PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Chancellor Pima Community College

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BizEDUCATION continued from page 72

TIMELINE

2012

Public Safety and Security continued from page 72 Pima is looking to expand its this will be an ongoing process as current course offerings so that it needed jobs evolve and change. can be a one-stop location for cerPima plans to invest $45 million tification, refresher and recertificaat the Downtown Campus for contion courses for those in the public struction of the Applied Technolsafety field. ogy COE. The project is ambitious – involving an extensive renovation Ethnic, Gender and of the existing campus – as well as Transborder Studies new construction on lots adjacent Pima has established a concento the existing campus. The coltration in Ethnic, Gender and lege wants to break ground on the Transborder Studies for the assoCOE in Applied Technology in late ciate’s degree in liberal arts and is summer 2019. working closely with the University Pima hopes the project will have of Arizona on course build-out. benefits for the surrounding neighInformation borhood as well. Technology David Doré, camPima is explorpus president and ing best practices vice chancellor in the area of cyof workforce and ber warfare with economic develthe goal of signifiopment, said that cantly improving Pima has partnerexperiential learnships with a numing for students ber of groups loand the commucated in the area, – Ian Roark nity. This COE will such as the Beacon VP, Workforce Development be based at Pima’s Foundation, La Pima Community College East Campus on Frontera and ChiIrvington Road. canos Por La Causa. Pima hopes the construction of Arts, Humanities and the COE and improvements to the Communications campus will serve as a catalyst for a Pima faculty and staff are curneighborhood revitalization. rently exploring this COE, with the “Pima Community College goal of drafting a needs assessment. Downtown Campus is partnering Work is ongoing. with these groups to revitalize the Hospitality campus neighborhood with an inRecognizing the critical role of tentional approach towards worktourism in our region’s economy, force and neighborhood economic Pima held an industry summit in development,” Doré said. November 2018 in preparation Health-Related Programs for launching a COE in hospitality Pima has big plans for its healthsometime in 2019. related programs, which will be Lambert’s enthusiasm for the housed at a Center of Excellence at future – and what that means for its West Campus on Anklam Road. the community at large – is palNursing, surgery technology, pable. “The institution didn’t really critical care, dental services and have a vision of where it was goradiologic technology are the priing. Now we do have a vision. We mary focus areas of this COE, and know where we’re going,” he said. there are even plans to develop a “You’re starting to see a whole new sleep center for respiratory therapy way of thinking. It’s all about the as well as a master’s degree conmission and fulfilling that promise.” current-enrollment program for nursing students with bachelor’s degrees.

Pima begins renovating Tucson Unified School District’s unused Roberts Elementary School, which becomes the 29th Street Coalition Center, housing Adult Education and the Public Safety and Emergency Services Institute.

2013

On July 1, Chancellor Lee D. Lambert begins his tenure at Pima.

2014

Pima holds its first Futures Conference, in which community leaders and Pima employees collaborate on ways to improve the college.

2015

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez tours Pima’s Aviation Technology Center.

2016

98 students pledge to begin or continue their education at Pima at NC3 National Letter of Intent Career and Technical Education Signing Day. By 2018, that number rises to 141.

2017

Pima is named one of the top 150 community colleges in the United States by the Aspen Institute.

2018

Pima begins demolition of the Fortuna Inn and Suites near Downtown Campus. The project will culminate in a new Center of Excellence in Applied Technology.

We have to be able to understand the true needs of the business community.

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PHOTO: COURTESY PIMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

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‘Keep Striving’ Pima College Tells Story with Branding Effort By Romi Carrell Wittman With so many positive changes already in place and several more on the horizon, Lisa Brosky, vice chancellor of external relations at Pima Community College, said, “It’s time to tell our new story.” Brosky is overseeing a massive rebranding and outreach effort designed to signal to the community that Pima Community College, now 50 years old, is a whole new animal. “We’ve been through so many changes and the college has been through difficult times,” she said. “We’ve turned a corner and we want to celebrate what Pima is today.” To assist with the rebranding effort, the college hired Stamats, a national highereducation marketing firm recognized for its integrated marketing campaigns. “Among their services is brand development,” Brosky said. “Pima was fortunate to engage Stamats because of their higher-education marketing and research expertise and because their vice president 76 BizTucson

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for client services lives in Tucson and knows the community.” The first step was to gather data – both qualitative and quantitative. The college convened several in-person focus groups and conducted a perception survey. More than 10,000 people – current and prospective students, community members, faculty and staff – participated in the research. The goal was to uncover their thoughts on the college’s role in the community and its workforce training and educational offerings as well as the college’s strengths and opportunities “We wanted to narrow down how people perceive the college and what they wanted to see in the college,” Brosky said. They tested a lot of language and branding in order to determine the phrasing that best described the college and its mission. “The research was critical for us,” she said. “We learned a lot from it – both about how people perceived us and how they wanted to perceive us.”

From there, two creative concepts were developed and tested among the focus groups. Ultimately, they selected “Keep Striving” as the cornerstone of the rebranding campaign. “Our students are very goal-oriented,” Brosky said. “It also encapsulates how the college is going to help students reach those goals.” Brosky stressed that the new branding effort goes far beyond simply marketing. “We want people to embrace and understand it. This brand isn’t just pictures and a tagline,” she said. “A brand is an emotional reaction. “We’ve made a promise to our community about the education they’ll receive at Pima. We’ve made a promise about the experience and support they’re going to get. These are more than just words we say. We have to live them.”

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Dean, Applied Technology Pima Community College

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PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

Greg Wilson

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Building the Talent Applied Technology COE Trains for Real-World Jobs

Buzzwords come and go, but when an idea is built on a solid concept and a real community need, that idea can have staying power far beyond the trendy words used to describe it. While Pima Community College’s Centers of Excellence may, at first glance, seem “buzzy,” the reality is it’s a world-class model that’s enabling Pima to meet the skilled workforce needs of local employers. The first COE under development at Pima is in Applied Technology, which is primarily focused on manufacturing and advanced manufacturing, transportation technology, and infrastructure. Coursework and certifications in a wide variety of fields are – or soon will be – offered, including automotive technology, welding (including robotic welding), utility and energy technology, mechatronics, HVAC, and prototyping and design. Diesel technology, quality assurance, optics/photonics and autonomous vehicle technology are in development. The concept of a center of excellence took root in Chancellor Lee Lambert’s mind back when he worked for the state of Washington. “The state created a number of centers of excellence, funded and supported at the state level,” Lambert said. “The focus was to support the needs of business and industry by making sure we could supply

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the talents needed.” When he arrived at Pima in 2013, Lambert was surprised to learn that Pima wasn’t talking about centers of excellence, let alone developing them. But rather than simply announcing that Pima would pursue this concept, Lambert wanted to first map the assets of the college against the community to determine if it was something that would be viable in Tucson. A consulting firm was brought on to look not only at the educational component, but also Pima’s facilities. It was important to evaluate whether Pima could successfully and sustainably offer centers of excellence. The firm concluded that it was possible, and several critical areas were identified. “We put a focus on several key areas that we felt would drive the community from an education and training standpoint,” Lambert said. Before moving forward, Pima hosted a series of summits with the goal of gathering insights from industry leaders. It was important to foster collaboration with industry in order to get the COE content right, said David Doré, Downtown Campus president and Pima’s vice chancellor of workforce and economic development. Going forward, the COEs will facilitate collaborative partnerships in academic and technical programs with local school

districts, industry, university partners and the community. “It will be a hub for lifelong learning where students and incumbent workers get the education they need to succeed,” Doré said. Creating centers of excellence is a long-range project requiring significant investment both in terms of facilities, equipment and tools, but also faculty. “Centers of excellence mean thought leadership,” Lambert said. “You don’t often think of your community college as being a place for thought leadership. But a COE is a place for both thought leadership and world-class training and education. It’s about holding ourselves to a higher standard, to a higher level of excellence.” Centers of excellence have several key features – cutting-edge coursework and curricula; academically rigorous, but flexible courses; collaboration with the community and industry, and, last, but not least, innovation. The COE in Applied Technology will be located at Pima’s Downtown Campus on North Stone Avenue. The college will soon embark on a $45 million construction project to include not only new construction but also the renovation and updating of existing facilities. Project organizers hope to break ground in fall 2019. continued on page 80 >>>

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PHOTOS: COURTESY PIMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

By Romi Carrell Wittman


BizEDUCATION continued from page 79 Lambert acknowledges that the capital needed for the project is significant – yet he said it’s critical given the nature of the programs to be offered at the COE. “Just think of the automotive program,” he said, offering up one example. “You need space to do high-level training in servicing and supporting a vehicle. You need the right types of equipment, and it’s got to be modern equipment. The flooring has to be thick enough for the wear and tear. You have to have an adequate power supply for the equipment. Pima doesn’t have the current facilities to do that.” There also are plans to construct a makerspace – a collaborative work space that also would be made available to the general public. In every way possible, Lambert said he wants “the learning environment to match the earning environment.” Ian Roark, Pima’s VP of workforce development, said the COE in Applied Technology has been possible thanks to the input of local businesses in identifying critical education and training gaps. “There’s a lot of different push and

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pull factors within industries,” Roark said. “We need to understand what’s going on in each of those industries to be able to help them meet workforce need. The COEs will be the talent fulfillment center of the community. We’re preparing students for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Greg Wilson, dean of applied technology, has been working on updating old courses as well as creating new ones and getting them accredited. “We have to submit a business plan to the governing body along with enrollment projections,” Wilson said of the accreditation process. Wilson also has been working in concert with several other community colleges, including Maricopa, Mesa, Estrella and Gateway. The goal is to be part of a unified system with identical course names and requirements. “If a student finishes a semester at Pima, he or she can move to Phoenix and pick right back up. The courses will have the same name, same content and the same learning outcomes,” he said. Wilson is also working with several local high schools to offer dual enrollment where students can work toward certifi-

cations before they graduate from high school. Wilson sees the COE in Applied Technology as serving multiple audiences from a variety of backgrounds – everything from people looking for a certification to even university students in need of background learning. “If you’re an engineering student down the street, you’re expected to know the modeling software already,” Wilson said. “At Pima, you can take a class where you’re using the software in class, where you’re taught how to use those tools. Then you can go back to your other classes with that knowledge.” Roark said several things are keys to the COE in Applied Technology’s success. One of them is adaptability and accessibility; that is, the need it fills for a wide variety of students. The other is its proactive nature, which has been built into its foundation. “We’re looking forward to the future instead of always playing catch-up.” Roark said. “The COE is a transformational project. We can’t ignore changes – instead we’re prepared for them.”

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PHOTO: CHRIS MOONEY

Regina Suitt

VP, Adult Basic Education for College & Career Pima Community College

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Adult Education at Pima Community College ‘An On-Ramp For Anyone Who Wants to Work’ By Rhonda Bodfield If there was a recipe to bottle Regina Suitt’s passion for adult basic education, it would be one part pedigree and one part decades of absorbing countless stories of sacrifice and aspiration. There was the man who rode his bicycle after work from the eastside to downtown four nights a week so he could get his High School Equivalency diploma by passing the GED and civics tests. There was the boy who grew up in a house without water. Bullied in school because of his hygiene, he dropped out. Now he’s back in school, gaining college credits. There was the student who struggled to learn in the English as a Second Language program, but eventually obtained her citizenship and a college degree. Now she’s a head nurse at a local hospital.

• • •

“There are hundreds of stories,” said Suitt, VP for Adult Basic Education for College & Career at Pima Community College, who has been with the college for 28 years. “They drive me. They keep me connected to this work.” Suitt herself is a product of adult basic education. Her mother was an immigrant, coming to America as a single mother with of a year-old baby, no family or friends for support and no English skills. A graphic specialist by trade in Germany, she cobbled together dozens of different jobs to make ends meet – from cleaning hotel rooms to working in a San Manuel copper smelter. Her dad went back to college as an www.BizTucson.com

adult to become a nurse. He was a fierce union supporter, which helped draw his daughter to social justice. A natural teacher, her first job was in K-12 at the Tohono O’odham Nation. She began teaching adult basic education on the side, as a way to pay off her car. She had no idea those extra bucks would chart her future. “I found I loved teaching adults. Not only did they all want to be there, they were working hard and overcoming obstacles to do it,” she said. “I had such respect for them.” Soon, she was teaching at the Pima County Adult Detention Center and then moved up through the ranks. All too often, programs for those who didn’t make it through the traditional primary-middle-high school pipeline are forgotten. Adult education is a large educational system that doesn’t make it into the conversation. “I really felt like I could bring innovation to a model that hadn’t changed in a while,” she said. It wasn’t that the old model was wrong – the world was changing. “I wanted to incorporate what I had learned from students,” Suitt said. They come to class to learn English or get a GED, but their end goal was the same – to get a better job.  The program benefits the business community as much as it does the students. With at least 83,000 adults in Pima County lacking a high school credential, initiatives such as adult education – which serves 6,000 students annually – are critical to the region’s

economic development, because they provide work-ready employees for businesses considering expansion or relocation to the region. The college works with workforce development programs to identify gaps in the employment pipeline. Instead of taking years for students to obtain their basic education and then go to school for specific field study, Pima now accelerates that journey by pairing basic skills with certification training in what is known as Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training, or IBEST. Practicing skills in the context of future careers makes learning more relevant. The program has trained behavioral health technicians, machinists and medical assistants. Logistics and industrial technology are coming on board next year. It’s an on-ramp for anyone who wants to work – and almost everyone has a job waiting by the time they graduate, Suitt said. The program is routinely featured at national conferences, where education leaders are intrigued by Pima’s Ambassador Program, which teaches advanced leadership skills to students. Business leaders can help by considering graduates of her programs, she said. “You are going to get a quality, experienced, seasoned, mature worker,” Suitt said. “We have the most motivated students I have ever met – because they’re not just doing this for themselves, but for their families. If we don’t invest in them, we’re the ones who will be losing out.”

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Connecting to Businesses

Pima Community College Partners to Provide a Workforce By Romi Carrell Wittman That it is impossible to grow and improve if you live in a vacuum was something Pima Community College Chancellor Lee Lambert was acutely aware of when he took the helm of the college in 2013. The college was dealing with several significant challenges and had seemingly stopped being a meaningful member of the business community. One of Lambert’s first priorities was to reach out to the community – specifically business leaders across a variety of industries – and to actively involve them with Pima and its mission. “The CEO is a reflection of the commitment of the organization to its values,” Lambert said. “When the CEO is not out in the community, then the college is not out in the community. The former administration was just not out in the community.” One of Lambert’s first orders of business was to change that dynamic. “It was about a mindset shift,” he said. “It was also about laying out a vision. When you take the mindset piece, the vision piece, the community piece, you start to see a whole new way of thinking.” Lambert took on an active role in meeting with business leaders and he took pains to create a team that was connected to and engaged with the community. Ian Roark, VP of workforce development, was brought on nearly four years ago with the express purpose of engaging industry throughout Southern Arizona. “When Lee came to Pima, he knew and understood there wasn’t a direct connection between business and the college. This needed to be rebuilt,” Roark said. Roark’s position was created to be a 86 BizTucson

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liaison between business and the college, a kind of mutually beneficial public-private partnership. Roark came to Pima from Odessa College in west Texas, where he was the executive dean of workforce development. After he arrived in Tucson, he found that many business sectors were clamoring for help and workforce development. “I had to prioritize,” Roark said, referring to the many needs of industry. “We built a business engagement team and worked with businesses of all sizes – from small all the way to really large.” One of the companies that most enjoyed this change was autonomous trucking company TuSimple. Knowing that the public had a perception that the company was a “job killer,” TuSimple management reached out to Pima to inquire about workforce training and “upskilling.” “We’ve been in Tucson a little over a year and we want to be a good community partner,” said Robert Brown, TuSimple’s director of public affairs. “I reached out to Ian and told him that we didn’t want to be a negative disruption in the community. “We want to make truck drivers’ lives better. That long haul drive from Tucson to Miami, we can solve that part for them. Then they can have increased local routes and be home every night.” Roark and Brown met many times and identified new career pathways – and the educational programs to provide that training – that could upskill workers so they’re prepared for 21stcentury jobs. “Logistics, sorting centers, diesel mechanics. These are the jobs that need to be filled,” Brown said. Caterpillar also has partnered extensively with Pima to create needed workforce training. Aimee Iverson, com-

munications manager for Caterpillar’s Surface Mining and Technology Division in Tucson, said, “Pima Community College has been a strong partner with respect to understanding Caterpillar’s employee development needs and collaborating on learning solutions.” Pima even plays a role in attracting firms like Caterpillar to Tucson as well as retaining companies that are already here. “Pima is a critical partner in our economic development efforts. They attend our client meetings, listen to the workforce development needs of each project, and deliver a thoughtful, comprehensive solution,” said Laura Shaw, senior VP at Sun Corridor Inc. “This approach is not just for new employers. Pima Community College has longstanding, excellent relationships with existing employers like GEICO and others.” Larry Lucero, senior director of government and external affairs for Tucson Electric Power, said that Pima has been instrumental in training students for utility jobs. “A lot of our workforce has started to retire,” Lucero said. Fearing a brain drain, TEP worked with Pima to create a program to train young people for well-paying careers at the utility. The program, which initially was highly customized to TEP’s human resource needs, was so successful that it became a permanent program at Pima. “It’s evolved and now all the utilities in the area are benefitting from it,” Lucero said. “When we’re in tune with business, it’s a multiplier effect,” Roark said. “It’s one of the best ways Pima Community College can meet the community’s needs.”

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When we’re in tune with business, it’s a multiplier effect. It’s one of the best ways Pima Community College can meet the community’s needs.

Ian Roark

PHOTO: AMY HASKELL

VP, Workforce Development Pima Community College

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PHOTO: DAMION ALEXANDER

The Pima Community College Foundation Professional Team and Board of Directors. Beginning front row left â&#x20AC;&#x201C; KerrySue Koeppel, Foundation COO, Zulma Tapia, Scholarship Coordinator, Staci Stanford, Board member, Marcy Euler, Foundation President, Board members Edmund Marquez, Jeff Ell, Amber Smith, Monica Barcelo, Saby Andino, Foundation Development Officer, Board members Bryan Hannley, Hoot Gibson, Tommy Roof, Steve Thu, Toby Voge. Not pictured: Board members Paula Register Hecht, Nancy Johnson, Mike Kocsis.

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Supporting the Vision Foundation Helps Students & College By Romi Carrell Wittman Marcy Euler took the helm of the Pima Community College Foundation at a pivotal time. Over the past five years, Chancellor Lee Lambert has set a new vision for the college and its role in the community and now, on the eve of the college’s 50th anniversary, many important changes are coming to fruition. Pima Community College has a multi-focused mission. It serves as a bridge to a four-year degree for some students. For others, it’s a source of continuing education and “upskilling” – when Pima provides training in new technologies and trades so that workers have skills relevant for today’s jobs. To this end, several Centers of Excellence are in the works, to be located at Pima’s various campuses. Goals like these require significant funding and the PCC Foundation, which is a separate organization solely dedicated to fundraising for the college, will play a major role. Euler is leading several ambitious fundraising campaigns – including a $300 million capital campaign that will span 10 years, from the college’s 50th anniversary to its 60th. “Amazing things are going on,” she said. “We’re moving from a passive organization to a proactive one.” Established in 1979, the PCC Foundation’s mission is to secure and manage philanthropic contributions to support students’ access to education, enhance programs and provide additional resources to fulfill the mission of the college. It attained nonprofit status in 1981 and formally separated from the college in 2017. Euler joined the organization as the interim president in 2018 and was named permanently to the position in August 2018. Previously she served as the executive director of the enormouswww.BizTucson.com

ly successful Tucson Festival of Books. Under Euler’s leadership, the PCC Foundation is laser-focused on providing not only financial support for the college, but also its students and the community as a whole. Euler is working with Earn to Learn, a nationally recognized social impact organization that empowers low- to moderate-income students to successfully complete college by providing matched-savings scholarships, personal-finance training and success coaching. “Earn to Learn has partnered with the three state universities,” Euler said, “but we haven’t brought it to Pima. This is going to make a difference for Pima students.” Kate Hoffman, executive director of Earn to Learn, is excited to work with Pima and its students. “Earn to Learn operates the largest and most successful matched-saving scholarship program in the country and we’re excited to expand the program to Pima Community College,” Hoffman said, adding that the organization helps students “enter the workforce with little to no student loan debt.” The foundation board is filled with individuals who have deep roots in the community and who are true believers in Pima’s mission and vision. Nearly every board member has at one time taken classes at Pima or had a family member who has. Edmund Marquez, chair of the foundation board, was born and raised in Tucson and owns three Allstate Insurance agencies. His is one of the largest Hispanic-owned Allstate agencies in the United States. “Pima trains our region’s workforce,” he said, reflecting the foundation’s stance that preparing a qualified workforce is a business and philanthropic priority that builds the community.

Tommy Roof, a native Tucsonan and former Pima student, is the past chair of the foundation and a huge supporter of the college and its mission. “Pima provides the pathway for lower-income workers to improve their earning potential,” he said. “All immediate members of my family have taken courses at Pima that benefitted them.” He added that his construction business has also benefitted from the trained workforce that Pima provides the community. Jeff Ell, a local Realtor, also sits on the foundation board of directors. He believes that the foundation helps to support an organization critical to upskilling the workforce. “PCC provides a more affordable solution for higher education and offers many options and tracks to a degree,” he said. “Pima educates community members and gets them into the workforce quickly, which benefits the individual and our local businesses. Most PCC students stay in Tucson – and many return for training and additional education.” In January 2019, the foundation officially will embark on an annual giving campaign in addition to the capital campaign. These funds will be used to support everything from student scholarships to college construction. The college is using a $65 million bond to launch the construction of its Centers of Excellence. Funds raised from the campaign will enable Pima to pay off the bonds sooner. “I’ve never been more excited about a job,” Euler said. “The college has a wonderful place in the community – providing everything from adult basic education to continuing education to professional certifications to personal improvement courses and everything in between.”

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BizEDUCATION Downtown Campus:

Bigger and Bolder

Once fully online in late 2020, the expanded, reimagined Downtown Campus will be a hub for cutting-edge education and workforce training in its Center of Excellence in Applied Technology. Additionally, the expansion will reinvigorate the SpeedwayStone intersection, an important gateway to Tucson’s bustling downtown, and the adjacent Dunbar Spring and Barrio Blue Moon neighborhoods. About the map, which outlines plans for new construction west of the campus at 1255 N. Stone Ave.:

N

• Diesel: Working hand-in-

hand with industry, Pima is developing new programs in Diesel Technology, Optics/ Photonics and Autonomous Vehicle Technology while updating existing programs in Welding/Fabrication, Mechatronics, Automotive Technology and Building and Construction Technology.

• Makerspace: A public ex-

ploration resource for students and tinkerers to play with the latest advanced manufacturing technology, including 3-D printers, laser cutters, high-tech soldering and more.

How you can help: One of the keys to success to all of Pima’s Centers of Excellence is community investment. For more information on how you can contribute to a project that propels Tucson’s economic development, contact PCC Foundation President Marcy Euler, 520-206-4646, marcy@pimafoundation.org.

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Funding and Programs Help Hispanics Enter STEM Fields Gone are the days of students sitting in a vast lecture hall, listening passively while the professor gives a long, sometimes boring, lecture. Hands-on, engaged learning is the new gold standard in education. Pima Community College has taken this concept a step further, focusing efforts on providing not only interactive STEM learning opportunities, but also on attracting Hispanic students to STEM fields – with programs focused on science, technology, engineering and math. Historically, Hispanic students are underrepresented in STEM fields. With Pima now certified as a Hispanic-Serving Institution – or HSI – new opportunities are opening up and funding is coming around for the college to increase the number of Hispanics in STEM fields. HSIs are defined as systems or districts, like Pima, where total Hispanic enrollment constitutes a minimum of 25 percent of the total enrollment. “Forty-five percent of Pima Community College students identify as Hispanic/Latino, which is closely aligned with the demographics of Tucson and Pima County,” said Hilda Ladner, Pima’s diversity, equity and inclusion officer. “As an HSI, Pima can compete for grant funding from the federal government, which helps us develop programs and practices for Hispanic student success.” In 2017, Pima received a $3.1 million HSI science, technology, engineering, 96 BizTucson

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mathematics grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help graduate more Hispanic and underserved students in STEM fields. The fiveyear grant has three major initiatives – to increase the number of Hispanic and low-income students majoring in STEM programs; to increase the number of Hispanic/low-income students graduating with a STEM associate’s degree or certificate, and to increase the number of Hispanic/low-income students retained in STEM programs after transfer. Funds from this grant enabled Pima to build a makerspace at its East Campus. “It’s kind of an adult playground,” said Ted Roush, VP of East Campus. “Robotics. 3D printing. Modeling clay. Any student can come in and experiment in the makerspace. The goal is to kindle within them a spirit of exploration of learning.” Currently the makerspace features 10 compact 3D printers that students can use to make virtually anything. “ ‘Oh, I want to make a model heart. A flower vase. An interesting geometric shape,’” Roush said. “Students are fascinated by what’s in there.” Beyond the Makerspace, grant funds are being used to train faculty in more engaging, innovative teaching methods. “We have access to these funds because we serve a high number of Hispanic students, but the professional development our faculty gets through these grant-funded programs and the

improvement in our facilities and learning spaces serves all of our students,” Ladner said. “Through these federally funded programs, we have the opportunity to ensure that more of our students are achieving their higher education goals.” “We can essentially enliven the classroom with active engagement and more inquiry-based types of classroom experiences,” Roush said, adding that oneon-one student and faculty engagement and instruction are part of this initiative. “We want to foster a sense of play and discovery,” he said. So far, 236 students have attended five computer science, mathematics and biology classes taught through an innovative problem-based learning approach that minimizes lectures and maximizes student interaction with the coursework and each other. Pima is entering the third year of the five-year grant. Roush said the plan is to continue getting resources to students and to continuously improve both teaching and learning. He said this process is different from how things were done in the past. Typically, funding could be obtained only after a college could demonstrate success in an area. In this case, the funding has been provided to see what can be accomplished. Roush said: “The government is putting money on the line to build it and see if they will come.”

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PHOTO: COURTESY PIMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

By Romi Carrell Wittman


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Left to right - Lourdes Rivera, PCC Student Services Advanced Specialist, student Salena Ashton, Math Instructor Tal Sutton

Student Sabrina Cereceres

Student Tisha Cruz

Student Achievers

PCC Provides Opportunity Toward an Education It’s been nearly half a century since Pima Community College relocated some cacti and creosote bush west of Interstate 10 and built the original PCC West Campus on 267 acres near Speedway Boulevard and Anklam Road. In the intervening decades, thousands of students have passed through those portals and other locations throughout the community. These are the stories of three students who currently are making the most of their opportunity at Pima. Tisha Cruz

Though she’s too young to know about Rosie the Riveter, Tisha Cruz, a 2015 graduate of Sunnyside High School, is on her way to the title of Tisha the Welder. She is leaning toward a future in the field of creative arts worked into the world of welding when she graduates next May. “Welding will be the right career choice for me because I’ve watched other family members make businesses and careers out of it,” Cruz said. “I‘m just amazed at what you can create when you combine the science of welding with an artistic flair.” Already employed in the industry as an apprentice welder, and the only woman in the shop creating metalwork for the mining industry, she also finds time to be creative with welding projects for herself like making a new table top. 98 BizTucson

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“Pima has treated me well. I’ve learned the world of welding, how to apply it in today’s world, and I’ve earned certificates in four different types of welding processes. I’m hopeful for a career in welding that will allow me time for some artistic expression on the side.” Selena Ashton

Selena Ashton is an older-than-usual college student who has walked the academic aisles before earning a previous bachelor’s degree in family studies. She is enrolled at Pima to build up math and science requirements so she can apply for graduate school at the University of Arizona to work toward a doctorate in physics or applied math. “Haven’t decided which yet, because I want to do both,” Ashton said. “Maybe I’ll end up doing mathematical physics where you focus more on the math side of physics rather than the science side.” In the interim, she’s enjoying the current learning. “As an older student, I’m much more serious about my studies. I chose to go to Pima for a couple of reasons – primarily because I knew the classes would be smaller and I’d have more one-on-one time with the teachers – and I’ve found that to be true.” Sabrina Cereceres

Sabrina Cereceres is one of those Energizer-Bunny students, balancing school and two jobs along with ex-

tracurricular and volunteer activities thrown into the mix. She’s got it all under control. “My planner is color-coded so I can see my different obligations and my phone calendar is updated at all times,” she said. “With so many obligations, I’ve learned to concentrate on the task at hand. I plan every day to keep my schedule organized and my mind ready for upcoming events. But when I’m working on one thing, I’m not thinking about other to-dos – classes, jobs, events. I stay focused.” She had to reorient her focus moving from Ohio to Tucson and looking at the possibility of enrolling at the University of Arizona. For a variety of reasons, she was headed toward taking a year off from school, but her grandmother convinced her otherwise and she applied at Pima to pursue a liberal arts education. “They have knowledgeable instructors, lots of programs and classes to choose from, and are easily accessible because of their different campuses,” she said. “In nearly every class I’ve taken, I’ve connected with my professors in positive ways and they’ve helped me get to where I am today. Applying to Pima was definitely the right choice for me – educationally and personally. The experiences there have shaped my life and prepared me for my next steps.”

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PHOTOS: COURTESY PIMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

By Lee Allen


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Pima Teaches What Businesses Need Custom Learning Through Workforce Development Programs By Romi Carrell Wittman Businessman Howard Stewart has such a good feeling about Pima Community College that his company is happy to pay for his employees to get their education there. “The class schedule is flexible, it’s affordable, the classes are smaller, the teachers connect with their students better,” said Stewart, president of AGM Container Controls. AGM offers a generous tuition reimbursement program to its employees – reimbursing 100 percent of tuition costs for courses in which the employee earns an A or a B. (They get 75 percent reimbursement for a C.) Even better, AGM allows employees to take whatever courses they desire, not simply courses that have a direct link to their jobs. Most opt to take courses at Pima. Stewart is especially proud of the fact that about 31 percent of his employees have taken at least one college course. He says helping his employees take classes is a big benefit to not only the individual staff member, but to his company as well. “I have a lot of loyal employees,” he said. “My turnover rate is half that of the average manufacturer in the Southwest.” He added that training and education only enhance the bottom line. “It’s not an expense but an investment with a considerable return.” AGM and Pima’s relationship is a close one. One of Stewart’s employees, shop manager Tim O’Moore, even teaches courses in machining at Pima. This came about because the machining program at Pima needed help from real-world experts. “Tim came to me 102 BizTucson

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and asked about teaching the course. For him, it’s not about the pay, it’s about giving back, and I try to support him in doing that.”

Pima wants to help employers be successful and they’re willing to work with you to develop curriculum. If they’re not teaching what you want, tell them.

– Howard Stewart President, AGM Container Controls

Currently, AGM is working with Pima to develop coursework for a quality-assurance program. “This is a great example of how Pima listens,” Stewart said. “QA is a problem for every machine shop and manufacturer across the city. They’re being responsive.”

Pima’s workforce training isn’t just about preparing students for new careers. Sometimes it’s about educating current staff about other areas of the business or industry, something very important to employers. Joe Snell, president and CEO of Sun Corridor Inc., said that Pima was critical in recruiting Caterpillar’s Surface Mining & Technology Division to Tucson. “The 20-week Applied Technology Academy program, focusing on fabrication, machining and welding, was created specifically for Caterpillar. You can’t get any better partner than that.” Greg Wilson, Pima’s dean of applied technology, said that Caterpillar approached Pima with a concept for two new courses – machining for non-machinists and welding for non-welders. Caterpillar wanted to give its engineers a better understanding of how their product designs impact manufacturability and serviceability downstream. According to Caterpillar, the courses are taught in a predominantly hands-on environment to ensure engineers gain a real-world understanding of the welding and machining skills required to design and manufacture quality products. Caterpillar and Pima will soon launch a third course – non-metals rapid prototyping. The course will teach Caterpillar engineers, manufacturing experts and service engineering teams how to build, review and inspect very early design concepts out of non-metal materials including 3D printed parts, foam and cardboard. This type of colcontinued on page 104 >>> www.BizTucson.com


PHOTO: BRENT G. MATHIS

David DorĂŠ

Vice Chancellor Workforce & Economic Development Pima Community College

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The 20-week Applied Technology Academy program, focusing on fabrication, machining and welding, was created specifically for Caterpillar. You can’t get any better partner than that. –

continued from page 102 laboration process will enable Caterpillar engineering teams to iterate early design concepts more quickly to deliver high-quality products to its customers. Aimee Iverson, communications manager at Caterpillar, said, “Caterpillar strongly supports continuing education for its employees and community workforce development. Pima has been a strong partner with respect to understanding Caterpillar’s employee-development needs and collaborating on learning solutions.” Robert Brown, director of public affairs at TuSimple, an autonomous trucking firm that moved to Tucson in 2017, said that Pima has been in-

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Joe Snell, President & CEO, Sun Corridor Inc. strumental in upskilling its workforce. “We’re working with deans on curriculum,” he said. “We hope to train people for better paying jobs that are easier on the body.” David Doré, vice chancellor of workforce and economic development at Pima, said that the role Pima plays in workforce development is critical for the community. “Pima recognizes that we as educators must adapt quickly to meet employer’s needs,” he said. “We provide high-quality, in-demand programs that cultivate an agile workforce focused on speed, convergence and adaptability.” Stewart said helping his employees take courses makes his company more

profitable. “People can’t help it. You get smarter and more useful and help your company when you take classes,” he said. “Pima wants to help employers be successful and they’re willing to work with you to develop curriculum. If they’re not teaching what you want, tell them.” Stewart said this responsiveness and adaptability would not have happened were it not for the vision and guidance of Chancellor Lee Lambert. “He’s listening and always meeting people interested in partnering with Pima,” he said. “He’s a wonderful man that has done a great job and I hope we have him for many years.”

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BizEDUCATION District Office 4905 E. Broadway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85709-1010 (520) 206-4500 (520) 206-4530 (TTY)

Pima County Community College District Pima Community

Maintenance and Security 6680 S. Country Club Road Tucson, AZ 85709-1700 (520) 206-2733 (520) 206-2682 (TTY)

College includes six campuses throughout greater Tucson, as well as multiple learning and education centers that deliver specialized training programs. Most Pima students take classes at multiple campuses, and are welcome to use student services centers, libraries and other services at any PCC campus. Students can take PCC classes at more than 100 locations around Pima County.

Community Campus 401 N. Bonita Ave. Tucson, AZ 85709-5000 (520) 206-3933 Desert Vista Campus 5901 S. Calle Santa Cruz Tucson, AZ 85709-6000 (520) 206-5000 Downtown Campus 1255 N. Stone Ave. Tucson, AZ 85709-3000 (520) 206-7171 East Campus 8181 E. Irvington Road Tucson, AZ 85709-4000 (520) 206-7000 Northwest Campus 7600 N. Shannon Road  Tucson, AZ 85709-7200 (520) 206-2200

The Mission Pima Community College is an open-admissions institution providing affordable, comprehensive educational opportunities that support success and meet the diverse needs of its students and community.

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West Campus 2202 W. Anklam Road Tucson, AZ 85709-0001 (520) 206-6600

EDUCATIONAL CENTERS AND OFFICES Alumni Association (Located at the District Office)

4905C E. Broadway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85709-1320 (520) 206-4646 Aviation Technology Center (Administrative Offices at Desert Vista Campus)

7211 S. Park Ave. Tucson, AZ 85709-6185 (520) 206-5910 Center for the Arts (Located at West Campus)

2202 W. Anklam Road Tucson, AZ 85709-0295 (520) 206-6986 Center for Training & Development (Located at Desert Vista Campus)

5901 S. Calle Santa Cruz Tucson, AZ 85709-6365 (520) 206-5100 Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (Administrative Offices at Community Campus)

5355 E. Granite St. Building 2441, Suite 130 Tucson, AZ 85707-3009 (520) 206-4866 Noncredit Continuing Education (Administrative Offices at Community Campus)

401 N. Bonita Ave. Tucson, AZ 85709-5505 (520) 206-6574 Adult Basic Education for College and Career Administrative Offices (Located at Community Campus)

El Pueblo Liberty Learning Center 101 W. Irvington Road, Building 7 Tucson, AZ 85709-5640 (520) 206-3737 El Rio Learning Center 1390 W. Speedway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85709-5630 (520) 206-3800 29th Street Coalition Center 4355 E. Calle Aurora Tucson, AZ 85709 (520) 206-3550 Pima Community College Foundation (Located at the District Office)

4905C E. Broadway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85709-1320 (520) 206-4646 Public Safety and Emergency Services Institute (Located at the 29th Street Coalition Center)

4355 E. Calle Aurora Tucson, AZ 85709 (520) 206-3501 Pima County Community College District Governing Board: District 1: Mark Hanna District 2: Demion Clinco, Chair District 3: Maria D. Garcia District: 4: Meredith Hay, Vice Chair District 5: Luis A. Gonzales Chancellor: Lee D. Lambert

401 N. Bonita Ave. Tucson, AZ 85709-5600 (520) 206-6500

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