By Nathaniel A. Lopez
On Jan. 23, members of Superior Town Council, Rebuild Superior, Resolution Copper, Superior Chamber of Commerce, Central Arizona College and Cobra Valley Institute of Technology all gathered at the Superior Enterprise center for the ribbon cutting of the Enterprise Center’s welding facility and program.
Beginning the ceremony was Rebuild Superior’s president Manny Guzman, who said, “This has been a long time coming with a lot of partners involved to be able to inaugurate this space. I think it was two years ago that we celebrated returning the building to the town government and the people of Superior. It is a blessing to be here to restore it to its place. This is the first time in 24 years that a course for credit is being offered at this complex, so let’s celebrate that.”
“Today is a culmination of so many wonderful things,” said Superior Mayor Mila Besich. “In 2016, we had a very bold, bright and visionary council, and an amazing town manager, and we said that, not only did we want to solve our problems that we had, but we wanted to do something big and bold for our community, for people that have been here for many generations, and those that are new to our community. We set up a vision, that we would care about education, Pre-K through 20, that there would always be opportunities for lifelong learning.
“We decided that we would open a multi-gen center, and Todd boldly told us, ‘You have about $4 million to play with, and that’s only if you can get Resolution [Copper] to play with us and be our partner.’”
She continued, “Our council wanted to, at first, build a new building out by the current school district, and Todd told us very soon, ‘You don’t have the money to do the Earth work’, and we started down the road building our partnership with Resolution, which officially began right before Valentine’s Day in 2019, with agreements that were really unique and bold for any mining company to contribute to. We started designing a multi-gen center, and it was going to go to our Junior High, where town hall is at now. And COVID happened. And rapid inflation happened. And this dream pretty much almost fell off the rails. We almost didn’t think it was going to happen.
“When council took another bold move, and suggested let’s talk to Mr. Cardon, and see if he would sell us the (old high school) building, and here we are today on what is a new ribbon cutting, and there will be several because the building isn’t done yet, but our commitment and vision is to empower our local residents, to help our young people to be able to stay here. As Manny said, our community has not had access to skilled job training without having to travel outside of this community for 24 years.
Besich called for a round of applause for everyone who made the new welding center a reality.
Closing out the speaking section of the ceremony was the Enterprise Center’s Director Arlynn Godinez.
“To build something like this, as impactful as this,” she said, “there are so many people to thank, because it wouldn’t come about without the partnerships we’ve developed. In developing this program we worked with Central Arizona College and Cobra Valley Institute of Technology. We started small, we started with just 10 participants, but our vision is much larger than that, and with the partnerships we’ve developed, and the core that we’ve developed, I think the sky is the limit. This is just one aspect of a greater vision that we have, our hope is that we can be the hub for workforce development for the entire region, and that’s what we’re going to work tirelessly to do.”
Another ribbon cut, celebrating Superior’s and the region’s continuing quest for a thriving and prosperous future. Congratulations to the Town of Superior and the Superior Enterprise Center on the welding program and facility, continue to do great things!