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Surprise offers scholarships for high demand careers

Published: Monday, July 24, 2023 - 5:05am

The Surprise City Council has set aside $135,000 to fund two scholarships for growing industries. 

The Surprise Career Development Scholarship fund will support eligible students for a dental assisting program at West-MEC and applied technology programs at Estrella Mountain Community College.

Surprise budgeted $100,000 for 12 to 14 residents in West-MEC’s new adult education dental assisting program. The city will cover 80% upfront and students will be reimbursed their share — about $1,500 — after successfully completing the program. West-MEC is accepting applications and administering the program.

Mike Hoover, with Surprise Economic Development, said these kinds of partnerships are critical to meet market needs and, “to provide community members accessibility and affordability for upscaling and career development. That is a significant advance we are seeing at the local level.”

He said they’re contacting more than 50 dental offices in the city, "Really this can’t be just education and government, industry needs to be at the table. Whether they’re assisting with some of the externships or whether they're assisting with some of the actual, professional education that we’ll have or also just the general promotion of it."

Evening courses in West-MEC’s dental assisting program begin Sept. 1.

The partnership with Estrella Mountain Community College includes eight applied technology programs, including front-end and back-end software coding, robotics, electrical systems, automated industrial, mechanical systems and semiconductor technician. The scholarship covers all class costs and materials and is administered through the college.