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2016 Middle Skills Internship Program Development Grant Awards


2016 Middle Skills Internship Program Development Grant Awards





PHOENIX (February 4th, 2016) – Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) is pleased to announce the three successful teams for the 2016 Middle Skills Internship Program Development Grants.  These are, Maricopa Corporate College (MCOR), Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC) and Central Arizona Valley Institute of Technology (CAVIT).  This year’s recipients each receive up to $28,000 to assist in building sustainable internship programs for their students in the areas of Information Technology and Healthcare.

Arizona’s future is directly influenced by the next generation of technically trained employees. Understanding this, SFAz created these grants with the generous support of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, to assist Arizona Community Colleges and Joint Technical Districts (JTED) build stronger links with their local industry and business communities and develop on-the-job work experience opportunities for their students.  These highly competitive Middle Skills grants, now in their second year, are providing assistance to five community colleges and JTEDs throughout Arizona with capacity building and internship development, impacting over 300 students, 150 of whom are destined for internships.

Maricopa Corporate College (MCOR) will provide students in their Web Development and Information Technology (IT) Support Specialist programs with modest stipends and on-the-job work experience opportunities.  Critical to the success and sustainability of the program is the new Industry Coordinator, initially funded with grant monies, who is responsible for building stronger relationships with local companies and securing and monitoring the internship opportunities for the students.

Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC), a Joint Technical Educational District (JTED), is dedicating a new Industry Coordinator to identify from their local network of healthcare providers the training opportunities that can be matched with their 70 second-year medical assistant high school students.  Targeted healthcare internships during the summer after high school fulfills a work experience requirement students need before they can take their Medical Assistant Certification exam, giving students a jumpstart on their career trajectory.

Central Arizona Valley Institute (CAVIT), also a JTED, is developing a comprehensive work-based internship program for advanced, second-year students attending the Coolidge campus in the health care fields (medical, dental, veterinary and massage assistants).  This grant will assist CAVIT in their continuing efforts to forge stronger relationships with their business partners in Pinal County.

We believe that companies who benefit from hiring trained interns from these institutions and whose stipends are paid by the grant, will in turn continue to recruit interns from the institutions that they may not otherwise have considered.  Our hope is that these institutions and the companies that participate with them on these grants will develop mutually beneficial and sustainable partnerships as they prepare students to join the workforce.”  Caroline VanIngen-Dunn, Director, Community College STEM Pathways, SFAz

For more information on the program visit

About Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz)

Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization initiated in 2006 by Greater Phoenix Leadership, Southern Arizona Leadership Council and the Flagstaff Forty, in conjunction with the executive and legislative branches of state government. SFAz serves as a catalyst for high-wage, knowledge-based job creation and economic diversity through administration and strict oversight of research, development and education grants to public education and other non-profit research performing institutions. For more information, visit and like us on Facebook.

For more information contact:  Dr. Mary O’Reilly, , 602 682 2800

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