Sundt company, community college build careers in construction

Students at Central Arizona College practice welding as part of a construction program in partnership with Sundt Construction company. (Photo by Marcia Oppong/Cronkite News)

By Marcia Oppong / Cronkite News

The Sundt Construction, Inc. and Central Arizona College are training students to become the next construction professionals.

Patrick Lopez, a second-year student in the program, is paving a career path by working at the company.

“One of my first jobs I got introduced into was welding. I just thought that’d be really cool to be able to do that all day,” Lopez said.

The Sundt and community college partnership gives students hands-on training as well as pre-employment certificates and degrees for the workforce.

“They’re going to have the ability to work directly with the industry while they’re going to school. We’re closing that gap by bringing the industry into the college and having the industry lead the curriculum and tell us exactly what kind of training these guys need,” said James Busch, a professor at the Coolidge college.

Students can select from among several construction jobs.

“They’re going to be learning industrial construction and concrete construction through the construction program. There’s a heavy equipment program and the welding programs,” said Sandra Zires, a career coordinator.

“It has a positive impact on me because it’s setting us up for a career and just a good lifestyle,” Lopez said

The partnership benefits Sundt as well – the company is investing in students now so it can hire them later.

The program offers one-year certificates as well as a three-year academic apprenticeship program.

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