Sharon Stinard introduced our speaker, Doris Helmich, President of Central Arizona College.  Doris thanked the club for the scholarship help we awarded to CAC students. 
​In May, 2014, CAC awarded 892 certificates and degrees to 846 graduates.  She mentioned that a professional study estimated CAC's economic impact to Pinal County to be $213 million.  Most students who attend CAC are part-time students.  Their average age is 28 years and 77% live in Pinal County.  CAC has partnerships with the 3 public universities of AZ.  Some public university courses are taught on campus, others by on-line programming. 
​The State Legislature has been withdrawing state support for the community colleges and thereby shifting most of the cost of operation to the counties.  Since 2008, not one dollar has been appropriated for capital construction or remodeling on any of the community College campuses.  In terms of your county property tax bill, K-12 school districts make up 41% of the budget, county government 17%, CAC 14%, cities and towns 9% and all others 18%.
​Doris described the Phoenix Mart which is being developed in Casa Grande.  The mart will have wholesalers for many industries all located in the same geographical spot.  Only Paris, Dubai and Shanghai have similar marts.  It should open next summer.  About 3,000 workers will be employed on the site.  It will be a huge economic driver for Pinal County.