Chancellor Maria Harper-Marinick, Maricopa Community Colleges

from Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick

Many of the attributes Arizona touts as being attractors for business — quality of life, affordability, climate — are also factors that attract workforce.

At the Maricopa Community Colleges, we are proud of the work we are doing with regional and state economic development organizations such as the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and the Arizona Commerce Authority to attract and retain businesses in the State of Arizona. And even though we are the largest workforce training and education provider in the state, we are constantly reevaluating to identify opportunities to improve the ways in which we serve the business community. In our recently adopted Maricopa Transformation plan, we propose a more streamlined integration of programs across colleges organized by industry sector. These “Industry Institutes” will provide a single logical unit for employers to support workforce development for a particular sector. With our partners, these Institutes will provide degrees and certifications aligned specifically to industry needs, create apprenticeship and other workplace-like learning experiences, and improve the pipeline and career readiness from K-12 through college and employment.

A diverse economy requires a diverse talent pool. Since the last economic downturn, business development professionals across the state have striven to build a diversified economy that would be less susceptible to market fluctuations, and three of the key areas of focus are technology, finance and manufacturing. Thanks to input from those industries as well as education and government, this issue’s cover story explores what is happening in developing and retaining the needed educated and skilled workforce.

A timely reminder of sexual harassment liability in the workplace shares space in the Briefs section with tips for businesses to protect their operations against the power outages that may come with this season’s monsoons. A Healthcare article looks at the evolution of value-based care and its benefit to business over the old model of volume-based care. And on the Technology page is the story of how a local business with a disruptive approach has embraced technology and a goal to make Arizona synonymous with “the independent music capital of the world.”

This issue also includes a feature article that addresses leadership style and discusses benefits and techniques even negative leaders can employ for a more productive positive approach, and another aimed at helping businesses create the most useful and useable dashboard for their needs. And, with a summer mindset, this August issue’s From the Top feature delves into how Jan Wichayanuparp, with some help from Yelp, built Sweet Republic into an ice cream success story.

With its focus on covering a breadth of topics in each issue, In Business Magazine continues to support our business community. I’m pleased to help bring you this August issue, and hope you enjoy the read.

Maria Harper-Marinick, Ph.D.
Maricopa Community Colleges 

Maria Harper-Marinick, Ph.D., is chancellor of the Maricopa Community Colleges, one of the largest community college systems in the nation. She oversees operations for the system, which serves 200,000 students and nearly 10,000 faculty and staff members across 10 colleges, a corporate college and two skills centers.

Chancellor Harper-Marinick has served on local and national boards and councils, among them the Federal Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, by appointment of U.S. Secretary of Education, and the National Community College Hispanic Council (president, 2016-18).

Chancellor Harper-Marinick has been recognized locally with numerous awards, and was featured in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education as one of 25 women who have made a difference in the world.

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