Industry stakeholders support EVIT
Posted on 01/19/2016
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We Are EVIT: Industry Stakeholders support EVIT

Since 2000, Thorobred Chevrolet has hired over 20 students from the East Valley Institute of Technology. The Chandler dealership taps EVIT for new employees because of the quality of EVIT’s Automotive facility, equipment and instructors, said Thorobred service director Steve Marley.

The Automotive program at EVIT’s Dr. A. Keith Crandell (Main) Campus is certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF), and every year, EVIT students earn hundreds of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications. “You know you’re getting disciplined, skilled workers, well-trained in the basics and familiar with automotive equipment,” Marley said.

It’s an example of how EVIT meets Valley workforce needs – and why business and industry are generous in donating equipment, materials, expertise and funding to the Mesa career and technical education (CTE) school.

“Industry supports quality CTE when they see a return on their investment,” said EVIT Superintendent Dr. Sally Downey.

EVIT offers 40 career training programs tuition-free for East Valley high school students and tuition-based for adults. Every program has an advisory council that includes industry representatives. And hundreds of workplaces – car dealerships, veterinary clinics, dental practices and more – provide EVIT students with job shadowing, internships and externships.

When EVIT was selected last spring as an A+ School of Excellence by the Arizona Educational Foundation, judges noted in their critique: “EVIT has created and nurtured a significant investment and trust from the business community.” Nowhere is this more evident than at the annual EVIT Foundation Gourmet Breakfast fundraiser. Last November’s breakfast drew about 400 business, community and elected leaders, raising over $80,000 to help students with program fees. Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill, the breakfast’s keynote speaker, called EVIT “a jewel of Arizona.”

From the EVIT Classes of 2012, 2013 and 2014 alone, Arizona industry hired 870 students within one year of their training. During that same timeframe, many more EVIT alumni graduated from college and entered the workforce.

Dante Fierros, president of Nichols Precision in Tempe, hired six students from EVIT’s Machining Technology program within the last 18 months. He said EVIT students “have demonstrated to employers that they have a tremendous work ethic because they’ve taken the program for two years at a school with a proven track record and certification process.”

This month, Sundt Construction presented the Construction program with a check for $5,000. The program also received significant support this year from the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona and the Association of the Wall & Ceiling Contractors of Arizona.

Bill Okland, president of OklandConstruction, serves on the EVIT Foundation Board. "Okland is a strong supporter of this type of training,” he said, “since it fosters advanced skills that can be immediately applied upon the students’ hire in the workforce."

EVIT is enrolling for 2016-17. Information:

Follow EVIT on Twitter @evitnews  Use hashtag #WeAreEVIT

EVIT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or sexual orientation in its programs or activities. CTE program offerings include: Arts, Audio/Video Technology & Communications; Auto & Transportation Services; Construction Technologies; Culinary Arts & Hospitality; Education; Engineering; Health Sciences; Human Services; Information Technology; Manufacturing Trades; and Public Safety. For a full listing of programs, go to The lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in EVIT CTE programs. The following employees have been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Title IX/Title VII/EEOC Coordinator, EVIT Superintendent, 1601 W. Main St., Mesa, AZ 85201 or call (480) 461-4000, or by email at; Section 504/ADA Coordinator, Tony Niccum, STEPS, 1601 W. Main St., Mesa, AZ 85201, or call (480) 461-4154 or by email

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