By Angela Askey, Executive Director Public Relations and Marketing, Central Arizona College

Central Arizona College was recently named a 2019 Gold Circle of Excellence award winner by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for their entry, “Central Arizona College & Sundt Construction: Education at the Speed of Industry.”

Each year the CASE Circle of Excellence Awards, recognize hundreds of institutions who have implemented innovative, inspiring and creative ideas that have a lasting impact and deliver extraordinary results.

The judges recognized the Community College Public-Private Partnership between CAC and Sundt stating, “It is the responsibility of a community college to engage their industry partners and create opportunities for students and alumni to enter the workforce in high-skilled, high-paying jobs. This partnership between Sundt Construction and Central Arizona College leveraged the top strengths of both organizations and demonstrated the power of a well-executed partnership that provides the most benefits for students, the college, and employers. We also especially appreciated the focus on diversity in the partnership.”

In 2019, CASE received more than 2,800 from 611 higher education member institutions, independent schools, and nonprofits from 20 countries. Winners were selected based on overall quality, innovation, use of resources and the impact on the institution or its external and internal communities, such as alumni, parents, students, and faculty and staff.

James Busch, Skilled Trades and Technology Division Chair and Professor of Diesel Technology & Heavy Equipment Operator stated, “We are honored to receive this Gold Circle of Excellence Award.  This collaboration and partnership continues to provide amazing training opportunities for students interested in skilled craft positions. The advancements we have made and continue to work towards are possible because of this strong workforce partnership.”

Darry Welker, Craft Training Manager for Sundt added, “Steadfast perseverance between aligned partners with the common goal of creating purposeful impact and necessary change for not only individuals but a community will always succeed.  Sundt is very proud of the partnership efforts and the boundaries that are broadening within the mainstream ideology of industry and education.”