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Crane Hot Line

Central Arizona College Wins Workforce Development Award

Feb. 19, 2020 -- Central Arizona College recently was recognized for a workforce development program in which it used NCCER curricula to develop craft-training classes in just a few months to meet local needs.

The college was the Workforce Development winner of the 2020 Bellwether Award at the Community College Futures Assembly in San Antonio.

CAC competed against nine other community colleges in the workforce development category. All finalists presented at the CCFA. A panel of national experts then selected one winner.

CAC’s innovative project, Education at the Speed of Industry, is recognized for creating strategic alliances that promote community and economic development. The program details the successful partnership between Central Arizona College and Sundt Construction, Inc.

In the spring of 2016, Sundt Construction approached CAC to explore apprenticeship opportunities to meet the growing needs of commercial construction.

Just three months later, updated, approved and industry-vetted curricula was being offered in four craft pathways: structural welding, heavy equipment operation, pipefitting, and industrial construction technology.

Using NCCER’s curricula allowed the quick program development and release, since NCCER programs are based on competence and easy to customize.

In addition, CAC and Sundt were able to deliver pre- and post-employment training that provided students with national industry-recognized credentials.

Before this partnership, CAC’s program was dwindling, with fewer than 10 students enrolled annually. This fall, the program reported 328 students enrolled and it has become the fastest growing program at CAC.

To download the associated how-to guide, “Education at the Speed of Industry,” visit


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