We are home to 75 restaurants, 19 parks, 18 miles of trails, the Dorothy Powell Senior Center, the Casa Grande Community Recreation Center, Aquatic Center, two public libraries, a Neon Sign Park and many sports fields and open spaces.
This action plan describes the Arizona Regional Talent (ART) Networks, a proposed effort to develop regionally specific initiatives to increase postsecondary enrollment and attainment — and meet workforce needs.
The City of Casa Grande requires an educated workforce to drive its vibrant and increasingly competitive economy.
To meet the goal of achieving 60% postsecondary attainment statewide by 2030, a coordinated state and regional approach to education and workforce development is required.
The statewide Achieve60AZ goal and our local Achieve Pinal, which has garnered broad cross-sector and community support, is accompanied by four pillars and 10 strategies for increasing postsecondary attainment rates:
- Strengthening the pipeline
- Increasing access, success
- Aligning workforce needs
- Using metrics, data
As proposed, ART Networks is a coordinated response commissioned by the Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable, of which I am vice chair, to help regions develop and execute a plan that brings together K-12, postsecondary, workforce, community leaders and community partners to develop the opportunities Arizona residents need to gain the credentials, skills and competencies required for good jobs.
Beyond the strong example set by Achieve60AZ and Achieve Pinal, Arizona and Pinal County boasts other successful initiatives that provide a solid foundation for additional efforts to increase attainment rates.
The Arizona Education Progress Meter — adopted by Casa Grande and 49 other cities and towns statewide — provides county, municipal, district and school level data for a comprehensive picture of educational achievement in Arizona.
A statewide coalition helps students complete the free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and qualify for financial aid. Central Arizona College (CAC) has the “Promise for the Future” that pays for two years of college at CAC. The Arizona Promise Program helps first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students at Arizona’s three universities to cover the full cost of college tuition and fees.
Response and goals
Arizona needs a state and regional plan based on proven strategies that contribute to a college-going or at a minimum post high school certificate culture in communities throughout the state. These strategies must define concrete ways to help more residents prepare for, enroll in, and complete postsecondary programs that award credentials and enable residents to get good jobs.
Casa Grande is well positioned because of the collaborative efforts of our K-12 leaders, CAVIT, Central AZ College, AZ@Work, Achieve Pinal, local leaders and local industry.