By Linda Kor
The Navajo County Community College District Governing Board authorized acceptance of Northland Pio-neer College’s portion of a Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Get Into Energy grant Tuesday. The $13 million grant is to be divided amongst the members of the Arizona Sun Corridor Consortium, which includes NPC, Estrella Mountain, Chandler-Gilbert, Pima and Yavapai community colleges. The portion to be allocated to NPC totals nearly $2 million, which will be allocated over the next three years.
The intent of the grant is to strengthen and broaden the talent pipeline for the energy and mining industries in Arizona. NPC will use the money to equip the new Skills Center at Holbrook’s Painted Desert Campus scheduled to be completed by next fall, and to hire faculty in power plant operations and multidisciplinary engi-neering known as mechatronics.
Board Secretary Ginnie Handorf stated that she had been asked by a community member why the 26,000-square foot facility was being built at the Holbrook campus and not another NPC campus in the county, and that she had assumed it was due to land availability. Swarthout explained that the reason for the site selection was because Holbrook held the most advantages and that the college has other lands available on their campuses.
“The impetus is that the welding program needs to move from land owned by the City of Holbrook, but this is also a great regional hub for the power plant, mechatronics and construction trades,” Swarthout explained.
Chairman Bill Jeffers asked if training would be made available at the center if potash mining were to take place.
Swarthout responded that if plans for potash mining should come to fruition, the Skills Center would have plenty of space to accommodate any educational training needed.
In other business, the board also accepted the resignation of District 4 board member Dusty Parsons, effective immediately. In an e-mail sent to Swarthout, Parsons cited plans for travel as the reason for his resignation.
His resignation now leaves two vacancies on the board that will be filled by appointment by Superintendent of Schools Linda Morrow. The other vacancy is for the District 2 seat held by Louella Nahsonhoya, whose term expires on Nov. 6. Frank Lucero will take the seat for District 3 in January, replacing Jeffers who did not run for re-election.
As part of that discussion, Swarthout announced that the college would be establishing an endowed scholar-ship in the name of Jeffers and his wife Lois in appreciation for their service and commitment to the college over the years. Jeffers has served on the board since 1997.
Blaine Hatch, vice president of Administrative Services, reported on the analysis of educational services provided to Apache County during fiscal year 2011-12. According to the analysis, Apache County expenditures totaled nearly $1.6 million, exceeding the $1.4 million in revenues received by the district for those campuses. As a result, Apache County will be receiving a bill from the administration totaling $152,294.
“This analysis is to determine that Navajo County is not subsidizing the services provided to Apache County,” stated Hatch, who added that the calculations include 12 percent of the state aid received by the college, but does not include equalization aid that is the result of property tax income received by Navajo County.
Hatch also presented the board with a proposal for DLR Group to be paid $42,070 for master facility planning of the Northern Arizona Training Center (NATC) in Taylor. According to Hatch, the DLR Group completed a facility master plan for all of the college’s facilities in Navajo County, but that did not include the NATC facility. That proposal was approved by the board.
The board also approved an intergovernmental agreement with Northeast Arizona Technical Institute of Vocational Education (NATIVE) to provide dual enrollment courses this semester to nine NATIVE Joint Technological Education District high schools.
Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the next meeting of the governing board will be held at 10 a.m. on Mon-day, Nov. 19.
By Linda Kor