AZ Launches State-of-the-Art Advanced Manufacturing Training Center
COOLIDGE, AZ – March 31, 2021 – AZ COMMERCE AUTHORITY
The State of Arizona, Pinal County, City of Casa Grande and Central Arizona College have opened a new training center that will prepare Arizonans for jobs in high-tech industries. The state-of-the-art facility, named “Drive48,” features cutting-edge robots and multiple hands-on training rooms where technicians will train for jobs in advanced manufacturing.
Since 2015, manufacturing jobs in Arizona have increased at one of the fastest rates in the country. More than 180,000 Arizonans now work in the manufacturing industry, where jobs pay on average 21% higher than other private sector positions. Industry leaders to announce major relocations or expansions in recent years include Intel, Benchmark Electronics, Lucid Motors, Nikola Motor Company, TSMC, ElectraMeccanica, Raytheon and more.
“Arizona is in the midst of a manufacturing boom,” said Governor Ducey, who helped officially launch the new training center today in Coolidge. “We’re showing the nation what it means to welcome innovation and industry, while creating opportunities for people to work in high-skill, high-wage industries. When more products are ‘Made In Arizona,’ our entire economy benefits, and we look forward to keeping this momentum going.”
Drive48 represents a unique collaboration among government, industry and academia to bolster Arizona’s workforce training efforts. The facility was designed with flexibility in mind, meaning as industry needs change and evolve, training equipment and curricula can evolve with them.
“Talent is a key driver in business location decisions,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “With the opening of Drive48, we’re further enhancing Arizona’s robust manufacturing workforce pipeline, now and in the future. We’re grateful to the many partners who helped make this project possible.”
The Drive48 facility is currently outfitted to prepare workers for jobs in automotive manufacturing. The main training room features a large open area with multiple assembly robots used for training technicians in programming, maintenance, problem solving, troubleshooting, safety, general system requirements and more. The 13,000 square foot facility can train upwards of 100 students at any given time.
“Central Arizona College is excited to be the home of this cutting-edge regional workforce training center,” said Central Arizona College President Dr. Jackie Elliott. “This partnership is a testament to the commitment of all parties in investing in the state’s economy and enriching the lives of individuals through meaningful skilling and employment.”
Drive48 complements the Arizona Advanced Technology Network curriculum, a first-of-its-kind partnership developed by Arizona’s employers, public sector and academic institutions to meet the demand for high-tech manufacturing skills today and into the future. Central Arizona College was one of three community colleges in the state to engage with dozens of manufacturers to develop an unified, industry-recognized curriculum specifically designed to enhance skills training for manufacturing jobs.
“Thousands of high-tech jobs are coming online in Pinal County over the next few years,” said Mayor of Casa Grande Craig McFarland. “This facility and the many partners involved are ensuring our workforce can meet the demand while providing local graduates a pathway to gain new skills, acquire good-paying jobs, and stay right here in the community.”
Other partners involved in designing, constructing, and outfitting the facility include Architekton, McCarthy Building Companies, and Design Systems, Inc.
Find out more about Drive48 and Arizona’s manufacturing industry HERE.
(Photo by AZ Commerce Authority)