KGUN 9 On Your SideNewsLocal & Regional News


High paying careers and a possible road to economic recovery

New Automotive Technology and Innovation Center at PCC
Posted at 5:30 PM, May 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-18 20:30:09-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Jacob Martinez has always loved working on machines.

“My stepdad and uncle brought home a 3-Wheeler and said if i wanted to ride it, I had to put it together, so that’s where it started,” said Martinez.

Classes at Pima Community College helped him advance quickly at his first job.

"Because of the classes I started taking here within 3 months, I was able to move up,” he said.

PCC is expanding with a new two-story, 50,000 square foot Automotive Technology and Innovation Center. They are adding diesel, electric, autonomous vehicle and brand-specific training.

“They take them from the 2-year program, enroll them into an additional six month or year program to become highly trained ford, Subaru or Chrysler technicians and we can finally do that with this extra space,” said Department Head Skylar Webb.

Webb says he’s constantly getting calls from employers looking for technicians, and a 1600-dollar investment in education could lead to a high paying career for a student. He also says a more skilled workforce could attract more businesses to the Tucson area.

“So that when we start getting bigger and bigger businesses they look and say wow we have a vibrant community and they build here and say we want a home base here,” said Webb.

For Martinez, the skills he's learned give him peace of mind during hard times.

“It comes down to there are certain things people need, and when it comes to necessities those are the jobs that will always be there.”