Tag Archives: auto

CMI_042

Artists Co-working Space to Open in Scottsdale

The historic arts district of Old Town Scottsdale will be the site of new co-working community for artists that is the first of its kind in the United States. The Creative Center of Scottsdale is a community for artists including sculptors, to painters, to photographers, to graphic designers, mixed-media artists as well as businesses and organizations that serve the arts community.

“We have been working to develop this concept for quite some time,” said Michelle Pelberg, creator of The Creative Center of Scottsdale, “It was important to us that this facility not only serves the needs of the next-generation artists in our community, but also preserves the history, architecture and legacy of the building and the district,” she said.

The Creative Center works similarly to an incubator-a collection of creative minds exchanging ideas and insights with one another in a common space. Their goal is to use collaborative co-working as a tool to build the Phoenix area art scene into a thriving hub of opportunity.

The Center is designed to be a flexible workspace for the vast and varying needs of all kinds of creative minds. Artists can work and create in their open workspace, focus at their private desk, create and showcase their work in gallery-like private studios, store their equipment in private lockers or recharge at the Center’s onsite coffee shop, SIP. With monthly rates ranging from $125-1,422 there is a space that works for everyone. All options include free Wi-fi, a full kitchen, and access to 2 conference rooms.

Housed in the iconic Scottsdale landmark, Mandall’s Shooting Supplies store, the Creative Center of Scottsdale will proudly participate in the City of Scottsdale’s Green Building Program. Scottsdale-based Architect Christina Noble of Contour Architecture is spearheading the building design and implementing unique green building resources and protocols.The Program encourages a whole-systems approach through design and building techniques to minimize environmental impact and reduce the energy consumption of buildings while contributing to the health of its occupants.  The Creative Center is focused on adaptive reuse through preserving the original structures as well as sourcing their materials responsibly. All fixtures and materials were selected looking at the proximity of their creation to the space.

“The Creative Center of Scottsdale is one of the first new buildings to be built according to the City of Scottsdale’s Green Building program,” Nobel said. “We are working closely with the city to make The Creative Center a model for all future green building in Scottsdale,” she said.

The Creative Center of Scottsdale is the answer for those looking to escape the home office, the kitchen table, or the unpredictable realm of public spaces. With their artist-friendly environment and beautiful studio spaces designed to showcase work, the Center aims to be a haven for those who create and work in the creative field.

The Creative Center of Scottsdale is expected to open in early 2014. The center is taking reservations for workspace and gallery space now.

Untapped Niche 2010

The Untapped Niche Of Green Aftermarket Auto Care

By Rissy Sutherland


Going green is a major step to take, but it’s the right step for businesses, their customers and the planet.

In late 2007, Honest-1 Auto Care hired a market research/strategic marketing agency to help discover an untapped niche in the aftermarket auto care and maintenance industry. Results of the research project revealed that consumers wanted an environmentally responsible company to provide their car repair and maintenance needs.

There was a void in the auto-care market for such a company, and Honest-1 made the strategic decision to fill it by going green and providing what consumers wanted.

By August 2008, every Honest-1 Auto Care shop was Environmentally Sustainable Actions Certified (ESA). The ESA Certification is implemented by the company through its own standards for pollution prevention, recycling and resource conservation. To demonstrate the brand’s commitment to going green, Honest-1 Auto Care launched an exclusive line of auto care products that combine leading edge technology with innovative additives.

Initially, there was some concern among franchisees about moving to an eco-friendly positioning because they felt comfortable with the existing position of Honest-1 as an honest and female-friendly business. Another concern was the cost to operate as an eco-friendly business. As it turned out, the incremental expense was nothing substantial because it was mostly substitutions and  changes in business practices. The new positioning helped to engage customers more closely to the brand and increase their loyalty. Same-store sales are up 10 percent this year over last year.

 

honest autocare 2 2010Girls planting trees.
Photo Courtesy of: American Forests

The biggest impact on franchisees was the ESA program, which spelled out what would be expected of them as they operated under the new business model. The franchisees had time to review and assess the program, and Honest-1 Auto Care executives visited each store to ensure they were ESA certified. Every franchisee is required to update their certification when significant updates to the program or system are needed.

Communication was the key during the transition process. Communication among franchisees, between franchisees and the franchisor were equally important. Honest-1 also convened a board of advisers, which sorted out all of the benefits and potential pitfalls. The board gave the franchisees a voice in the matter. Franchisees communicated their ideas and concerns, and Honest-1 executives responded to them.

So far the response from the franchise community has been very positive, and customers have also provided strong, positive feedback. Both groups are attracted to the cause Honest-1 is supporting, as many share the same values in their personal lives that Honest-1 believes in as a business.

Because any company that “goes green” has to demonstrate to consumers that its efforts are sincere, Honest-1 formed a partnership with American Forests, a leading nonprofit organization that plants trees for environmental restoration. As a franchise system, Honest-1 has jointly committed to planting 40,000 new trees to reinforce the company’s promise to be the most eco-friendly auto repair and maintenance chain in the nation. Honest-1 Auto Care is currently the only auto repair franchise chain to enter into a year-long agreement of this magnitude with American Forests.

It’s important to remember that companies that don’t practice what they preach will be called out by consumers, especially those who identify themselves as eco-friendly.

Rissy Sutherland is senior vice president/operations for Honest-1 Auto Care, based in Scottsdale. More information is available at www.honest-1.com

 

West-MEC provides career and tech training

West-MEC Provides Career And Tech Training To West Valley Teens

Keeping with its goal of enhancing the education system in the West Valley, WESTMARC is a major proponent of West-MEC — the Western Maricopa Education Center District. West-MEC is a public school district that provides Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs to more than 21,000 high school students in the West Valley. West-MEC was formed in 2002 after eight west side communities voted to form the Western Maricopa Education Center. Today, 12 districts and 39 high schools make up the West-MEC district. Not only is WESTMARC a business partner with the school district, but also, President and CEO Jeff Lundsford is on West-MEC’s governing board.

Greg Donovan, West-MEC superintendent, says combining efforts and expenditures allows West-MEC to offer students more than any one district could offer alone.

“Some career and technical education programs require a lot of very expensive equipment,” he says. “Individual districts may not have the space, money or expertise to offer such programs, so we help fund the programs and provide the necessary equipment.”

West-MEC programs include classroom instruction, laboratory instruction and work-based learning. Some of the career and technical education programs offered include business, finance, marketing, technical and trades, and health occupations. A school district works with local business and industry to build educational links to employment and continuing educational opportunities. Business leaders such as Mike McAfee, director of education for the Arizona Automobile Dealers Association (AADA), which represents and supports all new car dealers in the state, work with the school district. They help determine employment sectors to focus on the type of programs and equipment needed for training.

McAfee helped Peoria High School become the first high school in the West Valley to earn NATEF Certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and offer a class that teaches brakes, steering suspension, electrical and engine performance. High school students in the West-MEC district can take the same automotive classes at Glendale Community College. Ford, GM and Chrysler provide new vehicles and equipment for the program at no cost to the college so students can train on new vehicles. Gateway Community College has the same type of partnership but with Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Kia.

“With more than 230 million cars and trucks on the road today, demand for highly skilled techs is going to continue,” McAfee says. “So when we employ students in their junior and senior years, we want them to continue their education.”

Experienced technicians typically earn between $30,000 and $60,000 annually in metropolitan areas. Incomes of more than $70,000 are not unusual for highly skilled, hard working master technicians, according to the AADA.

Stephanie Miller, a graduate of Willow Canyon High School in Surprise, wanted to explore a career in health care, so she took a two-part, CTE lab class during her senior year. When the class was over she was certified as a phlebotomist in Arizona. Miller’s certification landed her a job at Sun Health Del E. Webb Memorial Hospital, where she works as a part-time phlebotomist. She also attends Arizona State University and is taking classes to earn a degree in physical therapy.

“This is my first job and I make well over $10 an hour so I consider myself lucky,” Miller says.

Justin Rice, 19, a graduate of Centennial High School in Peoria, took automotive and medical CTE classes during his senior year. The Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) classes were held at Glendale Community College. Since Rice was in high school, he did not have to pay the $800 tuition for the EMT classes.

“If I hadn’t had this opportunity, I would still be saving to take the classes today,” he says.

Rice now works as a part-time EMT for First Responders Inc., which provides medical support during Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Suns games, and for Little League games.

West-MEC opened a new cosmetology training center in July for students who attend high school in the West-MEC district. The 10,000-square-foot facility in Peoria is operated through a partnership between West-MEC and Gateway Community College’s Maricopa Skill Center. The center opened with 240 students and next year, enrollment will increase to 480 students, which is the center’s capacity. Students who complete the state-required minimum 1,600 hours of instruction will be eligible to take the state cosmetology board exam to become certified cosmetologists.

Chris Cook, West-MEC’s director of marketing and public relations, said the two-year cosmetology program costs $1,200 instead of $8,000 to $15,000 for the same program after high school.

A 2007 survey conducted by the National Accreditation Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences showed that owners of Arizona salons are hoping to hire more than 6,800 individuals this year.

“Students benefit greatly from these programs,” Cook says. “It’s a stepping stone to a career or post-secondary education.”