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Partnerships with Yavapai College

FreeportIn 2007, the leadership at the Bagdad Mine (then Phelps-Dodge, now Freeport McMoRan) realized that there just weren’t enough qualified candidates for their open positions. They identified three key areas—diesel mechanics, electrical and instrumentation technicians, and industrial plant technicians—and reached out to Yavapai College for training assistance. Shortly, three new Yavapai College programs were born. In the first three years of the partnership, all three programs were closed to the general public. Interested students had to complete an interview process with Bagdad leadership and get hired before they could start school.

Yavapai College hired three new instructors—Ron Luellan (diesel), Rick Peters (electrical and instrumentation) and Chuck Allmon (industrial plant)—to create the programs from the ground up. Even after the change in leadership at Bagdad from Phelps-Dodge to Freeport McMoRan, the internship program continued and persists today. Students who wish to pursue the internship in any of those three programs must still go through the application and hiring process with Freeport-McMoRan (FMI) before starting school. Interns are full-time students and part-time employees. FMI pays for tuition and books for interns to complete their 2-year degree. Interns attend two to three days of classes and work two ten-hour shifts each week. The combination of formal and on-the-job training has proven to be extremely effective.

After 15 years, the partnership between the Bagdad Mine leadership and Yavapai College is still strong. Last year in addition to the internship program, FMI started an apprenticeship program with YC—current FMI employees apply internally for the apprenticeship through a professional development process. Eligible apprentices are then full-time employees and part-time students.

In the last 15 years, over 160 mining interns have been trained at YC.

The Bagdad internship program has been a model for other partnerships with businesses looking for qualified candidates. YC has worked with Asarco Mining, Canyon AeroConnect, Drake Cement, PrintPack, Salt River Materials Group and more to train and place scores of students in the last 15 years.

Interested in pursuing a mining internship? Contact Stephanie Wiltcher for more information:

(928) 717-7107 | Stephanie.Wiltcher@yc.edu


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