Gila Community College offering programs to grow local qualified workforce
Globe, AZ | Submitted by Leitha Griffin
Gila Community College (GCC) has been educating residents of rural central Arizona for more than five decades. With more than 700 current students at two campuses, the college understands the challenges faced by students in rural areas and the workforce needs of the community.
GCC’s focus on workforce development has been critical to the region it serves, particularly for in-demand fields, such as healthcare and HVAC. Youth are graduating with the skills they need to get hired right away, thanks in part to the fact that many of GCC’s instructors are former employees of the companies that need qualified workers.
The most popular program at GCC is nursing, which allows students to prepare for work that will enrich both their lives and the lives of their patients. With hundreds of students in this program alone, GCC also offers programs for medical assisting and coding/billing. The college is also responding to local need for workers who can weld, machine and perform other trades. With programs to reach both high school students and college-goers, GCC is ensuring success for both individuals and their communities. There’s even a construction academy in the works to prepare students to work in the burgeoning industry.
On the local education front, GCC is partnering with Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University for grow-your-own teacher programs, to help alleviate the ongoing teacher shortage. Overall, the school is very responsive to community needs and offers programs that will allow students to study and then work in their hometown communities.
The Arizona Education Progress Meter outlines long-term goals to increase the state’s post high school enrollment and attainment rates. GCC’s efforts to recruit students and keep them engaged by offering programs for in-demand fields is a great example of how communities can lead the way.