In 2015, the Tucson Metro Chamber assembled a large group of local businesses leaders to listen to their challenges and identify ways the Chamber could address them. These Chamber investor “Roundtables” concluded that the biggest challenge facing local businesses is finding qualified workers. Lack of workplace talent was identified as the biggest obstacle to the success of business and the overall growth of our local economy.
Roundtable discussions with local educators discovered that businesses are not aware of the curricula being taught and our high schools are not aware of the talent needs of local businesses.
Out of these discussions was born the Chamber’s Intern-to-Career (I2C) program. I2C is a one-of-a-kind collaboration between the Tucson Metro Chamber and Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) to connect outstanding, goal-oriented students with career and technical education aspirations with on-the-job training at local businesses.
The pilot project in the summer of 2016 placed five automotive technologies students in paid summer internships with local auto repair businesses with three resulting in direct hires. To see just how successful the pilot project in automotive technologies was, visit: youtu.be/5CxIQ93ivek
Based on the success of the pilot project, I2C is expanding its outreach to four more business sectors for the summer of 2017. I2C sectors in 2017 will include:
- Automotive technologies
- Engineering sciences
The Tucson Metro Chamber is currently building a database of businesses in these career paths and would like to invite business owners in these sectors to partner in building the future workforce for Southern Arizona.
If your business would like to participate, please email Chamber Executive Vice President Lori Banzhaf, at firstname.lastname@example.org.