Training Workforce Is Next Phase in Longstanding Relationship with The Boeing Company

Mesa Community College (MCC) has taken its relationship with the world’s largest aerospace company, The Boeing Company, to the next level. Together, they are identifying and training Veterans with industry certifications and on the job training, as a way of showcasing and validating their transferable skills into manufacturing.  To date, these programs, Earn to Learn and Test Drive the Talent, have successfully transitioned 23 veterans into internships and 18 with portable industry certifications, making these students extremely valuable within the workforce.

Earn to Learn and Test Drive the Talent, are part of an effort to support the high demand for IPC 620 cable harness, NIMS (National Institute for Metalworking Skills) and AWS (American Welding Society) welding certifications that validate skill levels in over 23 technologies. Cable Harness Wiring Boot Camps launched at MCC in March 2019. More than 185 students have completed the program being taught by The Boeing Company employees, four of whom have become certified as MCC adjunct faculty and Master IPC Trainers.

Wiring Harness Boot Camps are the result of The Boeing Company’s grant funding, allowing students the opportunity to participate on a cost neutral basis through scholarships after successfully completing the programs. Additionally, students have been given the opportunity for hands-on workplace experiences that have resulted in future employment. “My dream came true,” said student Jocelyn Johnson who is now a permanent employee of The Boeing Company. “The boot camp was exactly what I needed.  It helped me get to my goal of a permanent position, which means a lot to me and my family.”

The Wiring Harness Boot Camps at MCC represent the latest developments of a 20-year relationship with The Boeing Company, the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation and the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD), in which more than $1.5 million in financial support and in-kind donations, has been contributed. Working together to prepare students for successful careers, the entire community has benefited as highly trained students enter the workforce as skilled employees, many directly with The Boeing Company.

“Our relationship with The Boeing Company has provided for an amazing opportunity for individuals to embark on a career path as well as an educational pathway,” said Leah Palmer, executive director of the Arizona Advanced Manufacturing Institute (AzAMI) located at MCC. “Preparing students to successfully earn an industry-recognized certification validating skills in high demand by local industry, is an investment in our community, in the success of our students and the economic success of Arizona,” said Palmer.

The Boeing Company also donated four A160 helicopter engines to the aviation program at Chandler Gilbert Community College (CGCC) and established a Boeing Corporation Aviation Scholarship Fund for students enrolled in the CGCC aviation program.  A 1995 International Darley Model 4900 fire truck to the MCC fire science program was donated as well and even a marble slab for the MCC Performing Arts Center.

“This relationship is a powerful example of a public/private partnership that through collaboration, has had unprecedented outcomes,” Palmer continued.  “It’s created education pathways for new students with a chance for lifelong learning, while improving the economic landscape of Maricopa County’s manufacturing sector.” 

Brian Spicker, Interim President and CEO of the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation added, “The Foundation and the Maricopa County Community Colleges expect to collaborate with more businesses like this over the next year, to benefit students at all ten colleges using The Boeing Company as a model partnership.”