Ensuring Arizona’s workforce keeps up with the jobs of the future

Ensuring Arizona’s workforce keeps up with the jobs of the future

COOLIDGE, AZ — Since the production lines started operating last year, Lucid has received 37,000 reservations for its high-performance electric cars. Lucid Motors is expanding. It means training a workforce to meet the skill levels required in the age of high-tech manufacturing.

A few miles away, on the campus of Central Arizona College, a group of Lucid junior technical maintenance personnel is breaking down a robotic arm — dissecting the wrist, a lesson in troubleshooting and repair.

“We can give them the experience of what they’re going to see once they get on the factory floor,” said Jennifer Farner, Senior Manager Learning and Development at Lucid Motors.

The automaker is literally creating its own history in Casa Grande. They build a 21stcentury electric car with a 1,100 hp engine. It can travel 520 miles on a single charge.

“Casa Grande has never seen anything like it. Pinal County has never seen anything like it. It’s a great opportunity for a lot of people,” said Vicente Procela, who was born and raised in Eloy. He is one of 1,700 Lucid employees learning new skills. Procela has a job that he could never have imagined five years ago.

“It gives me satisfaction to come home. I did something at work instead of clocking in and out,” Procela said. “I’m achieving something that I can share with my son. I get to tell him I’m going to school, which shocks him.”

The training program is part of Drive 48, a collaboration between government, industry and academia to bolster Arizona’s training efforts.

“At Lucid, we develop from the inside out because the goal is to promote as many employees as possible rather than hiring from the outside,” said Farner.

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