Dr. Steven Gonzales

Q: What most notably stands out about your leadership style or what is an example of leadership success you can share with our readers?

Over the past 18 months, our world has seen heightened volatility through the pandemic/retirement, political issues and other uncertainties. I am a firm believer in building a foundation of authentic leadership through transparency in decision making. These priorities help in establishing realistic perspectives as well as expectations that can empower others to increase their ownership in an organization’s shared purpose. These fundamentals often generate a culture of stability in times of unrest. I want to continue to empower the extraordinary team that surrounds me as Maricopa continues to thrive during this difficult time for our students, our faculty and our community.

What impact has COVID-19 or the disruptions of the past 18 months had on you as a leader?

As you might imagine, the COVID-19 pandemic provided unprecedented difficulties for our staff, students and faculty. I am proud of our system’s ability to successfully transition 96% of our classes to remote learning while utilizing the college space available for testing and vaccine delivery. I am unbelievably proud to have led our amazing team to quickly adapt to the existing situation, ensure our students and faculty were protected, and identify additional ways to provide assistance for our community.  

What do you feel we can be doing as a business community to empower economic growth here?

As Maricopa County is the largest growing county in the nation, we have seen incredible expansion in industries like semiconductor manufacturers, battery manufacturers, and electric vehicle producers. Recognizing this growth as well as the suppliers that feed these employers, our System acted quickly to establish innovative partnerships and training to meet this extensive workforce vacuum. For example, Maricopa’s new Semiconductor Technician Quick Start is a two-week bootcamp-style program expedites workforce development for our students to quickly begin their employment as a semiconductor manufacturing technician. Maricopa is always looking to establish additional partnerships with companies and industries in need for our students. 

What is new and notable for your company’s near future that will impact our economy?

Beginning in 2023 with our newly approved HLC accreditation, our System will be the first in the state offering our students the ability to pursue seven bachelor’s degrees in key industry sectors that include information technology, behavioral science and elementary education. Maricopa Community Colleges is the largest workforce development provider in Arizona as well as the cheapest opportunity for four-year degrees for students who might not be able to afford them, have access to them or desire to attend a large university. As the state continues to grow rapidly, adding these employees to the workforce will be imperative for our continued growth.

Name of Leader: Dr. Steven Gonzales
Position of Leader: Chancellor
Organization Name: Maricopa County Community College District
No. of Years with Organization: 10
Main Local Office Address: 2411 W. 14th St., Tempe, AZ 85281
Phone: (480) 731-8108
Website: maricopa.edu
Number of offices in Greater Phoenix: 10 Colleges Located in Maricopa County
Year Established Locally: 1920
City Nationally Headquartered: Phoenix

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