I had the great privilege of representing the College at a landmark event last week in Mexico. A delegation from Tucson, led by Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and including the College and Visit Tucson, met with former Mexico President Vicente Fox.
Since leaving office, President Fox has headed a foundation, Centro Fox, which is committed to furthering education, entrepreneurship and leadership. President Fox agreed to partner with Tucson, and as part of the collaboration, he asked the College to work with him to institute a two-year college credentialing system in Guanajuato, Mexico, similar to a community college system. As we at PCC well know, community colleges are a crucial piece to furthering the educational and career aspirations of those who cannot afford university tuition.
The new partnership represents a strategic advance as the College enhances Global Education and responds to opportunities in business and industry. Mexico is Arizona’s No. 1 trading partner, by far, purchasing more Arizona goods and services than the next 10 trading partners combined. Tens of thousands of jobs in our state depend on this relationship. Our cross-border connections can only improve our position as an economic development engine for the region.
I should note that last week’s collaboration comes after I signed International Memorandums of Understanding recently for the College to partner with two institutions of higher learning in Mexico, the Technological University of Saltillo and the Training Center for Industrial Work (CECATI) for northwest Mexico.
These important new connections further our efforts to become a multinational leader in education for the globalized 21st century. I am grateful to Dr. Ian Roark, Vice President for Workforce Development; and to Dr. Ricardo Castro-Salazar, Vice President for International Development, and his team at PCC’s Center for International Education and Global Engagement.