Op-Ed: PCC Board of Governors Candidate Ethan Orr


Pima College was a gateway of opportunity for me.  In 1992 I was homeless, without purpose and hope, and I didn’t even have a high school diploma!  My first class at Pima allowed me to finish my high school diploma and start classes at the University of Arizona.  Eight years later, I had a Master’s Degree, owned a home, was the Director of Economic and Community Development for the City of South Tucson, and was a teacher at Pima College. I went from homelessness to hope and it started at Pima Community College! 

As a teacher at Pima College, I saw in my students that same desire for a better life that motivated me to pursue the difficult.  Pima College is about getting the credentials and skills to pursue your dreams.

I served in the Arizona Legislature (2012-2014) and because I saw firsthand the value of PCC, I fought for Pima, increasing our funding.  I protected or added over $25 million in funding for Pima College.  I studied the details, helping to resolve a longstanding dispute with the Santa Cruz College District.  Pima College matters to our community.  I have been a leader in economic and workforce development in Southern Arizona for over 24 years, and PCC has been an important part of training our workforce, recruiting new businesses, and helping our local businesses expand.  Pima is about economic vitality and opportunity.

Currently I work at the University of Arizona, and part of my job is working with Pima College to make the student transfer process more seamless and ensure that every Pima student who wants to attend the UA is given the chance.   Pima is an essential part of our community.  I will increase our success by working to restore our state funding and partnering with businesses and industry to ensure that our Career and Technically students have the training, credentials and job placement support to succeed in the economy of the future.  I will create even stronger ties to the University of Arizona and other colleges so that any interested student can seamlessly transfer into a four-year program, with both the financial and academic support necessary to succeed.  

The faculty and staff at Pima College care about the students and about our community.  I will listen to the faculty, staff, and students.  I will find ways to support our students who are doing so much to improve their lives, both for themselves and for their families.  I will empower and enable the faculty and staff at Pima College and support them as they equip our students with knowledge, credentials, and most importantly hope.

Pima College is a good place, and together we will make it even better.  #PimaTogether

Thank you,

Ethan Orr


Pima College Board of Governors, District 1

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