Holbrook skills center would train for jobs in potash mining
The Holbrook area is taking seriously the potential for significant economic development from potash mining. The Arizona (Holbrook) Journal reports that Northland Pioneer College (NPC) in Holbrook "is making major capital investment plans in the coming year to accommodate industrial growth," identifying potash mining specifically.
NPC president Dr. Jeanne Swarthout is quoted as saying they will build a $3-4 million skills center in Holbrook that would "house the new construction trades program NPC will be rolling out in the coming year." The article says "the college will develop mining-related courses in cooperation with the mine developers that will be operating in the area. Those courses will also be housed in the new skills center."
The article states that "The construction trades program is being developed in partnership with the Northern Arizona Vocational Institute of Technology (NAVIT) program and will offer a full range of courses related to construction skills, including electrical, heavy machinery operation and maintenance, and others."
American West Potash announced their intent to have an underground potash mine in operation in two years [right, AWP holdings in yellow. Holbrook is in the northwest part of the Holbrook salt basin], that would employ 400-500 in the Holbrook area with salaries much higher than the average pay in the region currently. Annual expenditures of $400-500 million were projected over the expected 50-year life of the mine. Two other companies are also carrying out exploration work on the potash deposit, Passport Potash and HNZ Legacy, but neither have announced their plans.