Yuma County, AZ – The Four Borders International Academic Alliance (Alliance), an alliance of colleges, universities, and technical schools from the United States and Mexico celebrated its 2nd Anniversary on March 29, 2019 at the Arizona Western College Schoening Conference Center. As part of this celebration, an additional 7 new Alliance members signed on to the original Memorandum of Understanding that created the Alliance.
The Alliance formed on March 29, 2017 through an effort by 4FrontED to expand workforce development opportunities for workers in the Yuma County, Imperial County, Mexicali, and San Luis, Rio Colorado areas. Since its inception, the Alliance has hosted several workforce development group meetings and activities in the United States and Mexico. Because of the success of these meetings in developing international language courses, student exchanges, entrepreneurial training, and employment opportunities, membership in the Alliance continues to grow.
Paul Melcher, 4FrontED Education Committee Liaison, stated, “It’s been amazing to witness the collaboration that has taken place over two years. Universities from both countries understand the economic ties that bind us and the competitive advantage of having a skilled, available workforce within the region.”
The Alliance successes in promoting workforce development and exchanges include the Arizona Western College (AWC) Nursing Lab hosting nursing students from Centro de Bachillerato Tecnológico Industrial y de Servicios where they practiced techniques related to inserting IVs and handwashing. In addition, students from Centro de Capacitación para el Trabajo Industrial (CECATI) toured the AWC welding classrooms, and the AWC division chairs toured the CECATI and Universidad Politécnica campuses. In addition, faculty from Northern Arizona University-Yuma and Universidad Autónoma de Baja California in Mexicali and Guadalupe Victoria, Mexico, are experimenting with international virtual learning for students and faculty in Psychology and Social Work programs using the internet and ITN technology.
The goals of the Alliance include expanding learning, internship and employment activities for students from both sides of the border.