State of the city

Casa Grande Mayor Craig McFarland give the state of the city address Wednesday March 11, 2020 at the Casa Grande Community Recreation Center.

CASA GRANDE — The mayor hosted a Path to the Trades roundtable discussion on Wednesday afternoon in hopes of fostering and retaining trades-based talent in the community.

The roundtable included the Brewer Academy model for training, Central Arizona College’s programs and the Casa Grande Union High School District courses.

“The end goal is to work with high schools, CAC and the academies and work our young people into these trades,” Mayor Craig McFarland told the City Council on Monday. “I think we can help our young people find a career.”

“In the end I’m going to be looking for a collaborative effort and a commitment on their part to hire these young people once we get them trained,” McFarland said.

With approximately 40 participants, the roundtable was over an hour long, filled with presentations and discussion.

According to the mayor, between the two major high schools, about 800 students graduate annually and about half of them go on to college.

During the meeting, the director of career and technical education of CGUHSD, Steven Sipes, shared the different CTE programs available at both high schools. According to the presentation by Sipes, students who take advanced CTE courses in high school see higher earnings, including a 3.2% wage increase for CTE concentrators.

James Busch, from CAC, shared that there will be a national shortage of 2 million craft professionals by 2021.

During the event, the attendees talked about the importance of introducing these programs even earlier to students.

McFarland also gave a community update during the event. He said Lucid Motors’ plant is moving quickly, with electric car production expected to begin during the first quarter of the next year.

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Gabrielle Olivera is the Casa Grande reporter at PinalCentral, covering government, schools, business and more.

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