Dolores Duran-Cérda

Interim Chancellor
Pima Community College

If you were to be asked by a site selector, what is the best part of doing business in Tucson, what are the areas you would highlight?

Southern Arizona has a great business environment that I am proud to be a part of. Pima Community College has a track record of working with Sun Corridor Inc., Southern Arizona Leadership Council, our local Workforce Development Board and other economic development organizations to help businesses nurture a talented, diverse and highly skilled workforce for their industries. Our PCC Workforce Development team is industry-focused and is in the practice of saying “yes” to meet the needs of business and industry partners.

Area businesses benefit from a strong education talent pipeline that includes Pima Community College, Pima County Joint Technical Education District (JTED) and the University of Arizona. We partner with UArizona on grants in manufacturing, semiconductors and economic development. We enjoy a strong transfer partnership – 58% of students who transfer to UArizona come from Pima.

What are some of the emerging trends in your industry that could have an impact locally on site selectors looking at the Tucson region?

Technology advancements are rapidly reshaping the job market and the skills that employers seek. As the region’s community college, PCC aligns curriculum, equipment and facilities in our Centers of Excellence to support the evolving needs of business and industry. We are taking a holistic lifelong learning approach to training and upskilling by focusing on technical competencies, industry-recognized credentials and 21st-century skills such as communication, teamwork, problem solving and creativity. 

In addition to offering traditional certificates and degrees, PCC is advancing new models to support rapid entry into job training and career advancement. Models include accelerated micropathways − branded as PimaFastTrack − and Integrated Education and Training (IET) programs supporting learners who need support with basic skills, English language acquisition or high school equivalency attainment. These models align with primary industry sectors such as healthcare, advanced manufacturing and automotive and aviation.

Aside from the areas you would highlight to a site selector, what are you most optimistic about for the future economic development in the region?

Any employer seeking to expand or relocate needs a steady supply of skilled workers, and I am optimistic that PCC can continue to enhance its role in the region’s economic development by providing education and training assets that are unparalleled in the region. We are the only entity with the capacity to supply learning at scale to workers throughout their lifetime, and we are experienced in providing customized solutions for business and industry.

Perhaps most importantly, Pima College is committed to innovation. Our newly completed Advanced Manufacturing Building at our Applied Technology Center of Excellence at Downtown Campus is one example of a state-of-the-art facility designed to meet the specific needs of our business community. PCC offers the most current training and certifications, and learners are able to enter the workforce with sought-after skills that benefit industry and promote economic growth of the region.


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