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AZNext: Workforce Training Accelerator Partnership for Next Generation Jobs

The Arizona State University AZNext Program is a public-private partnership designed to create a bold, innovative, and sustaining workforce development ecosystem that addresses the need for more skilled workers in IT, cybersecurity, and advanced manufacturing roles. A groundbreaking collaboration between the W. P. Carey School of Business, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, and New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, AZNext brings together employers, workforce development networks, economic development organizations, and industry partnerships, while creating a model for replication across the Southwest and greater U.S.

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Upskill or re-skill to move your career forward through a grant awarded to ASU by the U.S. Department of Labor

There are more than 6.4 million job openings reported in the United States, and expanding workforce development will help you gain the skills necessary to fill these vacancies. AZNext is designed to not only provide you skills, but opportunities. Partner employers are equally committed to this mission, offering professional experiences and training toward your next step up.

Contact us or read our FAQ for updates and more information.

Advanced Manufacturing

  • Electrical Engineers
  • Industrial Engineers
  • Manufacturing Engineers
  • Mechanical Engineers

IT and Cybersecurity

  • Business analysts
  • Computer and information analysts
  • Computer programmers
  • Computer support specialists
  • Computer systems analysts
  • Computer user support specialists
  • Database administrators
  • Information security analysts
  • Management analysts
  • Software app developers
  • Software developers and programmers
  • Web developers

Types of Training Models

Simulated work experience

Provides the experience of traditional work-based learning in a non-workplace setting.


An intensive, short-term training program on a specific job-ready skill.


A paid experience integrating knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application in a professional skill.

Train-to-hire program

A training program in line with employer hiring needs leading to interviews and placement upon successful completion.


A short-term training in technical and soft skills to prepare for an apprenticeship program.

Registered apprenticeship

A competency-based program combining paid on-the-job training (OJT) and related instruction leading to an industry credential. Requires 2000 hours OJT.

Unregistered apprenticeship

A competency-based program combining paid on-the-job training and related instruction leading to an industry credential. Flexible program length.

AZNext Team

Grant Staff

Raghu Santanam | Executive Director

Amy O’Reilly | Project Manager

Patrick White | Project Coordinator

Rob Buelow | Program Director

Mike Benesh | Program Coordinator Sr.

Academic Program Leaders

Arunachala Mada Kannan | Fulton Schools of Engineering

Jason Nichols | W. P. Carey School of Business

Alan Simon | W. P. Carey School of Business

Thomas Sugar | Fulton Schools of Engineering

Karen Watanabe-Sailor | The New College

Partnership Directors

Timothy Beatty | Fulton Schools of Engineering

Octavio Heredia | Fulton Schools of Engineering

Ryan Owens | W. P. Carey School of Business

Program partnerships

Contact us at to learn more about the ASU AZNext program.

This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The product was created by the recipient and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This product is copyrighted by the institution that created it.