City of Avondale Commits $430K to Avondale EDGE-EMCC Scholarship Fund
AVONDALE, ARIZONA, September 8 – Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) is excited to announce that nearly 50 of its students have already been helped by the newly created Avondale EDGE-EMCC Scholarship Fund.
The scholarship fund was established last spring and is the result of a partnership between the City of Avondale, EMCC, and the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation, the body that administers the fund. It is subsidized with federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan, which the city received to invest in the community, education, and local workforce to assist industries impacted by COVID-19. The scholarship covers tuition, fees, books, equipment, and certifications, and is awarded to students in EMCC’s culinary and nursing programs. Future plans include expanding the scholarship to behavioral and biological sciences.
“Culinary and nursing are both career fields that we’re seeing a shortage of employees in,” EMCC President Dr. Rey Rivera said. “Yet these are the same industries that Avondale is continuing to attract and are in need of a competent workforce. The partnership between EMCC and the City of Avondale is so exciting because it not only benefits our students by covering the costs of their education, but it also provides a much-needed talent pool for medical facilities and restaurants looking to call the rapidly growing West Valley home.”
Under the agreement, the city will endow the scholarship fund with $430,000 in three payments with the final payment scheduled for July 2023.
“We are excited to recognize the power of collaborative community partnerships and hear real-life stories from students who have been positively impacted by the vision of these groups,” said Kenneth Chapa, Director of Economic Development for the City of Avondale. “The scholarship is an opportunity to bridge the gap between a tight labor market and the next generation of our workforce. As Avondale continues to attract more hotels and restaurants, our goal is to create and maintain a strong culinary and healthcare workforce — and what better place to start than with local talent attending culinary and nursing school at our local college.”
Since the city’s initial payment of $110,000, 21 culinary and 28 nursing students have received scholarships totaling $102,960. Those students have been invited to a special presentation ceremony at 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 19 at Avondale City Hall, 11465 W. Civic Center Drive, Avondale. Two of the students will speak at the ceremony, which will take place just before the regular City Council meeting.
WHAT: Avondale EDGE-EMCC Scholarship Fund Check Presentation Ceremony
WHEN: 4:30 p.m. Sept. 19
WHERE: Avondale City Hall, 11465 W. Civic Center Drive, Avondale
Following the ceremony, light refreshments will be served and the scholarship recipients will receive free headshots to assist them with creating professional online profiles for employment opportunities.
“Our partnership with the City of Avondale and Estrella Mountain Community College in support of the Avondale EDGE-EMCC Scholarship Fund helps make post-secondary education and certifications possible,” said Brian Spicker, President and CEO of the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation. “Educating our students and providing opportunities that extend way beyond the classroom in key areas ranging from counseling and psychology to nursing and culinary arts directly impacts the community with an immediate skilled and motivated workforce in high-demand industries.”