Pima Community College’s new director of the Center for Training and Development will tap her extensive experience with local social service agencies in building on CTD’s 50 years of service to Pima County residents.
Amanda Abens, who has been program manager for PCC’s Pathways to Healthcare Program since March 2012, was announced as the new head of CTD Wednesday night at CTD’s 50th Anniversary Reception Gala & Silent Auction.
“My most-immediate focus will be to build upon and strengthen the successful partnerships that CTD has cultivated within the community,” said Abens, who before coming to PCC was project director for the Building Partnerships for Youth project at the University of Arizona’s John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences. “I want to listen to and learn the needs of the students, staff and our community.”
In her new role, Abens will oversee nearly two dozen clock-hour certificate programs offering training in health, culinary and food service, and business professions. CTD’s new Behavioral Health Specialist Program honored its first cohort of certificate completers Aug. 28.
Abens, a UA graduate with a master’s degree in counseling from University of Phoenix, also has worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters, city of Tucson Housing Department, and New Beginnings for Women and Children.
“CTD will continue to deliver current and relevant training programs that lift Tucsonans out of poverty and provide employers with a highly skilled workforce,” Abens said. “As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of CTD, I am honored to continue the legacy of many great directors who have successfully led the center and look forward to taking CTD into the next half a century.”
She succeeds Brian Stewart, now Academic Dean at PCC’s Desert Vista Campus, where CTD is based.
This year, the Pima Community College Foundation established an endowment to support current and future CTD students with scholarships, emergency supplements, professional development and program support. Net proceeds from the Sept. 4 event go to the endowment.
PCC Chancellor Lee Lambert attended and spoke at the gala, which was attended by more than 200 community members, and current and former CTD staff and students. On Thursday, Chancellor Lambert blogged about the experience and CTD’s importance.
Since 1963, CTD has trained approximately 50,000, with a 90 percent completion rate and an 85 percent job placement rate. PCC has run the center since 1979, when it took over administration of the Tucson Skills Center, and in 1993 renamed it the Center for Training and Development.
Pathways to Healthcare is a partnership between PCC and Pima County One-Stop designed to help recipients of federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and other low-income Pima County residents get training and jobs in healthcare professions that do not have enough qualified workers to fill needed positions. Pathways is funded by a five-year, $18.5 million Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) grant from the Administration for Children & Families of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. For more information on enrolling in the program, call 206-5250 or go to www.pima.edu/hpog.