The New Yavapai Economy: High school technical training
According to Area Development, a journal out of Halcyon Business Publications, Inc., availability of workforce and skilled labor rank in the top five factors for firm relocation in 2016, and is a number one priority when firms are considering expansion. This trend can be seen throughout industry sectors from advanced manufacturing and aerospace to informational technology and healthcare.
In 2008, voters approved the creation of Joint Technical Education Districts, to be funded through property taxes in each region for the purpose of providing students from all districts access to Career and Technical Education courses that are significantly greater than any individual district can provide on their own. There are 13 JTEDs throughout the state, with our local district in west Yavapai County, known as Mountain Institute-Joint Technical Education District (MIJTED), serving Ash Fork, Bagdad, Chino Valley, Humboldt, Mayer, Prescott and Seligman school districts. Yavapai County has had one of the highest performing JTEDs in the state, growing exponentially since its inception and serving high school students from sophomore to senior level.
Last May, MIJTED had 123 high school seniors complete post-secondary certificates, issued 424 industry credentials, and in total, assisted local high school students with earning 3,509 Yavapai College credits. MIJTED programming includes technical training in Aviation Technology, Culinary Arts, Drafting & Design, Education Professions, Electrical Line Worker, Medical Assisting, Nursing Services (CNA), Sports Medicine, Pre-Engineering/Robotics, Automotive Technologies, and Welding Technologies.
Their mission advocates for regional job growth, highlighting their role in helping local students “Get Trained, Get Certified, and Get Hired.” Yavapai College has been a primary partner for MIJTED, working closely to ensure that college programming is responsive to local industry demands.
As the recovery continues and the region seeks to expand and attract new high paying industries, entities like Prescott Valley Economic Development Foundation and the Greater Prescott Region Economic Partnership find great benefit in being able to offer current and potential employers access to a skilled laborforce ready for work due to the efforts of MIJTED and their continued role in generating economic vitality in the county.
Alexandria M. Wright is the director of the Yavapai College Regional Economic Development Center, which provides analysis and services that facilitate economic development throughout Yavapai County and build wealth in our local communities.