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Maricopa Community Colleges join national program to teach new skills

(Yelp Photo/Maricopa Community Colleges)

PHOENIX — In an effort to help those who lost jobs due to the coronavirus, Maricopa County Community College District is taking part in a program to teach workers new skills.

The Reskilling and Recovery Network consists of schools in 20 different states.

Led by the National Governors Association and the American Association of Community Colleges, the initiative will provide programs and resources to help people re-enter the workforce.

It will also link community colleges with governors’ offices and other workforce leaders.

“We need a new approach to ensure all Arizonans have the skills and opportunity needed to thrive,” Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said in a statement.

“The Reskilling and Recovery Network will help Arizonans strengthen their professional skills and learn new ones, and it will connect employers with talent across the state.”

More than 20 million people in the United States have lost jobs due to the coronavirus, including almost 40% of households making less than $40,000 a year, according to a Federal Reserve report in May.

In Arizona, the unemployment rate has increased from 4.5% in February to as high as 13.4% in April. It had fallen back to 10% in June, according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This program will help participating states create strategies for economic and workforce recovery efforts while getting Maricopa Community Colleges more education access including webinars and facilitated peer-to-peer learning.

MCCCD Interim Chancellor Steven R. Gonzales said the program will “provide national resources to our local community, supporting every individual’s success.”

“Our community is understandably concerned about their futures and how to prepare for the impacts of COVID-19,” he said in a statement. “We continue to adapt the Maricopa Community Colleges to the current times with our future in mind.”

Achieve60AZ, Arizona Commerce Authority’s Office of Economic Opportunity, Arizona Community College Coordinating Council, Greater Yuma EDC, Pinal County Economic and Workforce Development Department, The Boeing Company, Arizona Western College, Pima Community College and Yavapai College are Arizona’s other partners in the program.

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