Episode 51: Integrating Emerging and Cross-Cutting Technologies: Manufacturing and IT with Diane Meza and Leah Palmer

Podcast Guest:
Diane Meza
, Executive Director-Maricopa IT Institute, Maricopa County Community College District
iLeah Palmer, Executive Director, Az, AMI Workforce Manufacturing Technologies

March 2024 | 40:15
Episode 51: Show Notes, SlidesTranscript

In this episode, we hear from educators Leah Palmer and Diane Meza as they discuss creating new opportunities for learners in collaboration with industry. Discover how they developed innovative programs in advanced manufacturing and IT, responding directly to industry needs and ensuring inclusivity and diversity in their initiatives. Listen to their insights and learn about the resources available to educators and industry professionals alike. Don’t miss out on this engaging discussion on shaping the workforce of tomorrow.

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Diane Meza

Diane Meza is the Executive Director-Maricopa IT Institute, Maricopa County Community College District. She has worked 30+ years in the field of education. While at Mesa Public Schools she was named “Teacher of the Year” in 1997.  Diane spent 20 years as a technology/curriculum director and administrator serving as the K-8 technology teacher, technology administrator, vice principal  for The Diocese of Phoenix, and principal for Leman Academy of Excellence. In her current role as Maricopa IT Institute Director, Diane works across multiple colleges building strategies to grow new talent and develop needed curriculum with industry and faculty. Diane develops industry and economic partnerships to stay current with changing technologies.  Serving students is Diane’s passion, and she continues her pursuit of excellence currently working towards her Ed.D. in Instructional Technology through the American College of Education.

Leah Palmer

Leah Palmer is the Executive Director for the Arizona Advanced Manufacturing Institute at Maricopa Community College District. A former director of the nonprofit “Women Off Welfare” (WOW) program and a recent Fellow at the Aspen Institute, Economic Opportunities Program, Leah brings over two decades of experience in Workforce and Community Partnerships.  Leah bridges education and industry locally and nationally to develop effective manufacturing workforce solutions. Under her leadership, AzAMI introduced the Quick Start program, serving over 900 students for entry-level positions. AzAMI’s innovative approach aligns with industry demands in Semiconductor, Aerospace, Electric Vehicle, and Battery technologies. Leah’s strategic design emphasizes technician roles, preparing hundreds of students at Maricopa Colleges for tomorrow’s workforce.

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