U.S. Workforce to Get Upgraded Skills with $ 8 Million DOL Grant to ASU

TEMPE, Arizona., March 29, 2021 / PRNewswire / – The US Department of Labor has awarded Arizona State University a $ 8 million grant Leading an innovative workforce development partnership to help train workers for high-paying, high-demand jobs in advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity and information technology (IT).

The One Workforce Grant will help address a critical skills shortage in the United States by establishing the Arizona Workforce Training Accelerator for Next Generation Jobs (AZNext) partnership. The program, which will be led by ASU and its many partners, is designed to train at least 2,000 participants, with the goal of earning industry-recognized degrees and permanent placement over the next four years.

The grant was a collaboration of ASU WP Carey Business School, Ira A. Fulton Schools engineering, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, and several external partners, including Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Technology Council, [email protected], Infosys and Pipeline AZ. The partnership leverages state education and employment resources to create the workforce of the future.

For years, Arizona prioritized jobs in advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity and IT. The state ranks second in the United States for job creation in these emerging sectors and has filled more than 350,000 related positions since 2015, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Through this new partnership, ASU will help close the skills gap faster and help employers reach new and diverse talent.

“The grant program enables ASU to help unemployed / underemployed people find meaningful careers in rapidly changing industries,” said Raghu Santanam, chairman of the information systems department at WP Carey School of Business and Principal Investigator of the Grant. “It will also create career opportunities for under-represented populations in technology-driven industries.”

AZNext is designed to use a combination of multidisciplinary and industry-relevant training, with multiple entry points for learners seeking a degree or not. ASU will leverage programs from multiple colleges and business units, while industry employers will leverage paid internships, hiring training programs, boot camps and mock work experiences . AZNext will also build on another program funded by grants from ASU’s Business School: Digital Workforce Learning Partnership – which was established by First grant from the ASU Department of Labor to help close the skills gap in the US workforce.

The Mesa Polytechnic Campus, home to some of the engineering school’s best programs, will be the hub of higher manufacturing education where a project-based curriculum and hands-on learning are already taking shape with top industry employers like Honeywell Aerospace, Pilgrim Aerospace, PADT, Siemens, Raytheon Missiles & Defense and TPI Composites.

“The polytechnic campus is ready to lead efforts in advanced manufacturing, including additive manufacturing, robotics and automation, as well as new battery technologies,” said Tom sugar, co-principal investigator of the grant. “As Associate Dean of Barret, The Honors College [at the Polytechnic campus], we are always finding ways to improve the education of our engineering academics. “

“Technicians and engineers of today and tomorrow need the experience and software skills to digitize product design while increasing manufacturability and quality through field support and development. of the workforce, ”said Gerald Deren, vice president of Siemens Digital Industries Software, an AZNext partner. “We believe that the best approach to building up this talent pool lies in the partnerships that we are developing with universities such as Arizona State. Siemens looks forward to working with ASU to prepare students and continuing education professionals for rewarding careers in many industries. “

On the ASU West Campus at Glendale, the programs of the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences will help educate and train AZNext participants in the areas of biological data science and cybersecurity. This effort is led by Karen watanabe, associate professor at School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences which has supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce development initiatives for many years.

“I have worked to expand inclusion and access to STEM fields for people of color for years,” Watanabe said. “AZNext provides tangible opportunities for those who have traditionally been under-represented in STEM fields to advance in high-demand career areas including biological data science and cybersecurity. “

One of AZNext’s many goals is to build a workforce development model that not only works in Arizona but can be applied in other states – possibly upgrading the skills of the entire American workforce. ASU’s partnerships with agencies such as the Arizona Commerce Authority, which leads statewide economic and workforce development programs, will be critical in this effort.

“Talent is often the key factor in a company’s location decisions,” said Sandra watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “Thanks to AZNext, Arizona further improves our workforce and helps ensure a talent pool ready to fill the highly technical and advanced jobs of tomorrow. We look forward to working with ASU and other partners on this important initiative to move forward that of Arizona competitive position in the global economy and create new opportunities for the Arizonans. “

AZNext will help ASU build on existing partnerships – such as the innovative hiring training program model with Fortune 500 company Cognizant Technologies – which started in 2019, and allows participants to complete a certificate program. Digital Business Analyst through ASU Business School in 10 weeks, while potentially landing an opportunity to interview Cognizant upon completion.

“As a leading technology company, Cognizant recognizes the importance of maintaining a highly skilled and deeply informed workforce,” said Eric Westphal, Assistant Vice President of Workforce Strategy and Operations at Cognizant. “This proposal with ASU builds on our Digital Business Analyst Certificate program and will position us to develop new programs and programs designed to help prepare individuals for careers in demand in the digital economy.”

ASU’s experience in creating personalized education for adult learners – like the university’s Starbucks and Uber varsity programs – has benefited more than 48,000 learners since 2018 and will help strengthen AZNext’s goals and work already underway by ASU and employers seeking to create long-term, sustainable programs. infrastructure for workforce training in emerging technologies Arizona and beyond.

About the WP Carey School of Business
The WP Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is one of the top ranked business schools in United States. The school is recognized internationally for its research productivity and distinguished faculty members, including a Nobel Prize winner. Students come from over 100 countries and WP Carey is represented by alumni in over 160 countries. Visit wpcarey.asu.edu.

For more information, contact:
Shay Moser, WP Carey School of Business
[email protected]

SOURCE WP Carey School business at Arizona State University

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