In support of the construction industry’s employment needs in Arizona, Grand Canyon University Inc.(GCU), in partnership with employee-owned electrical contractor Rosendin and Maricopa County, announced a new pre-apprenticeship pathway that will provide technical education to prepare students for careers as skilled electricians. Starting September 2022, GCU’s Pre-Apprenticeship for Electricians pathway will provide real-world industry training by combining college-level classes with hands-on learning.
With the help of a $669,000 Maricopa County Workforce Career, College, and Credential Initiative from Maricopa County and a scholarship from Rosendin, GCU has developed a four-course, 16-credit pre-apprenticeship pathway that prepares students for an employer apprenticeship program in Arizona. Those funds will cover all tuition costs for the first cohort of 40 students in Fall 2022 and another 40 students in Spring 2023.
“Trade industries are what helped build this country into an economic power and we need to bring them back,” said GCU President Brian Mueller. “This pathway is a great example of industry, Maricopa County and GCU’s Institute for Workforce Development working together to solve a labor shortage that is impacting our economy. This one-semester course offering will help students master key concepts, especially in math, that will prepare them to enter an electrician apprentice program and quickly embark on a career that is in demand.”
Pre-apprenticeship students will take four courses over one semester in areas such as math, communications, and electrical foundations on GCU’s Phoenix campus. Rosendin has been working with GCU to develop the courses to ensure these students are well-prepared to enter an apprenticeship. Rosendin will give students additional opportunities for paid, supervised work at Phoenix-area construction sites for continued learning.
In April 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that the electrical industry will grow 9% by 2030. Electrical workers were recently ranked the top skilled-trade career in a March 2022 study from Porch.com, which cited good wages, job security, and excellent growth potential.
“This pathway is for anyone who likes to work with their hands, problem-solve, and wants to take the first step toward a fulfilling career through an apprenticeship that allows them to work full-time and get paid to learn a highly skilled craft, said Mike Greenawalt, CEO of Rosendin. “Partnering with GCU helps us connect with students during the early stages of career choices. We can put them in a real-world situation and let them decide if it’s the right fit with a very short time commitment.”
GCU’s Pre-Apprenticeship for Electricians encourages women and underrepresented minorities to explore new opportunities in this growing industry. Today, only 11% of construction workers are women and 6.3% are Black or African American, according to the BLS.
Rosendin has been consistently recognized as one of the best in the nation for employee training and development, as well as its commitment to providing a safe, welcoming environment for all.
“I joined the IBEW’s apprenticeship program after graduating from Sunnyslope HS and I am immensely proud to have built the Valley’s skyline and landmark powered projects including the Palo Verde Generating Station, a semiconductor manufacturing plant in Chandler, and the Downtown Sheraton Hotel,” said Greenawalt. .