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Northern Arizona University breaks ground on new Hospitality Center in Mesa

Northern Arizona University is building a new Mesa Workforce Development Center with a focus on hospitality education in Mesa, located near the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

The project began March 19 and will include two buildings in the SkyBridge development, a 435-acre, multi-use gateway development​ that currently includes a joint U.S.-Mexico Customs inspections facility.

One building already has a tenant, with Kind Hospitality taking over the first floor. It will hold a restaurant and coffee shop open to both students and the public. The second floor will host the Workforce Development Center.

The second building is planned as office space. 

NAU and Mesa officials say the center will help to strengthen and expand the workforce in Arizona. Mesa is in need of more hospitality workers, as the city has grown significantly over the last decade. 

The school is set to open in fall 2024, with applications already open for students.

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Spencer West was an intern for KJZZ in 2024.