Grand Canyon University has partnered with Rosendin Electric and Maricopa County to offer a Pre-Apprenticeship pathway that will alleviate a significant workforce shortage for electricians in Arizona.
As the Valley continues to attract new businesses, demand for electricians continues to grow. With the help of a $669,471 Maricopa County Workforce Career, College and Credential Initiative (3CI) grant and additional funding from Rosendin, GCU has developed a four-course, 16-credit Pre-Apprenticeship pathway that prepares students for an Employer Apprenticeship Program in the State of Arizona.
The funding helped develop and operationalize the initiative and will also cover all tuition costs for at least the first 80 students – 40 students when it launches in September and 40 more in the spring semester. Additional seats are also available to students.
“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 electricians apprentice program and quickly embark on a career that is in demand.”
Pre-Apprenticeship students will take four courses over one semester in areas like math, communications and electrical foundations on GCU’s Phoenix campus. Rosendin, the country’s largest employee-owned electrical contractor, has been working with GCU to develop the courses to ensure these students are well prepared to enter an apprenticeship. Rosendin will also give students additional opportunities for paid, supervised work at Phoenix-area construction sites for continued learning.
“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.”
The job growth for electricians is projected to grow by an estimated 9% from 2020 to 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Greenawalt said in Arizona alone there is a shortage of 1,500 electricians.
“Whether it’s construction workers helping us improve and expand our infrastructure, or nurses working ‘round-the-clock to serve our growing population, we need more skilled workers in industries that impact everyone’s quality of life,” said Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates, District 3. “Training people to fill in-demand jobs right here in Maricopa County is not just good for individual workers, it’s good for our economy and overall well-being.”