A local business is partnering with Mesa Community College and Northern Arizona University to help its employees continue their education and earn college degrees.
The collaboration with Empire Southwest provides a convenient path toward earning a professional certificate or an associate’s degree from MCC as well as a bachelor’s degree from NAU, according to a release.
“Empire Southwest is proud to have a relationship with MCC and NAU,” Jim Smith, Empire’s executive vice president, said in the release. “At Empire, we realize the need to have employees with a wide variety of skills and talents. While we have a large percentage of our employee population in the skilled industrial trades, we also must continue to develop employees in all aspects of our business. The partnership with MCC and NAU coupled with the large investments Empire has made in training and development programs is a win-win for all those who want to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Empire Southwest employees can receive college credits by completing 16 corporate training sessions from the Empire Training Institute. The credits can then be applied toward a certificate of completion in organizational leadership and an associate of applied science in organizational management through Mesa Community College.
After employees have completed their courses at Mesa Community College, they can transfer up to 90 college credits toward a bachelor of interdisciplinary studies in industrial leadership from Northern Arizona University. Employees can complete the remaining 10 Northern Arizona University courses (30 credits) through NAU at Mesa Community College or online.
“Our faculty assessed the learning objectives of Empire training to match to our courses and as a result, we are now able to accelerate Empire employees opportunity to earn a degree at MCC with an established pathway to a bachelor’s program at NAU,” Michael Voss, Northern Arizona University dean of career and technical education, said in the release. “This collaboration with Arizona higher education creates a local option for Empire employees as an alternative to the company’s current agreement to send employees out of state to participate in advanced leadership training.”
NAU’s industrial leadership curriculum is designed to train future leaders who are employed in the fields of construction, manufacturing and production. The coursework incorporates relevant, real-world content while emphasizing communication, collaboration and teamwork, the release states.
“A workforce with diverse skill sets is critical to Arizona’s new economy and we are grateful to our statewide community college and business partners for the comprehensive vision that allows us to advance successful programs,” NAU President Rita Cheng said in the release. “At NAU, we recognize the quality learning experiences taking place at Empire. It is important that we incorporate this training into our degree programs to advance the education of working professionals. Our partnership with Mesa Community College makes this pathway a very affordable and streamlined experience for students.”
Details about the Empire Southwest employee program are available at mesacc.edu/workforce-development/empire-southwest-partnership.
Empire Southwest is an authorized Cat dealer for heavy equipment and power systems throughout Arizona and southeastern California. In addition, Empire is a provider of commercial SunPower solar products, an authorized AGCO agriculture equipment dealer and a distributor of MAC, Fuso, Maintainer and other leading truck and trailer brands, the release states.
The third-generation, family owned company was founded in 1950 and has more than 2,000 employees across 22 locations. Empire’s affiliate technology companies include SITECH Southwest, Allen Instruments, Take-off Professionals and BuildingPoint West. Go to empire-cat.com.