Arizona to invest nearly $14 million in career training, development programs

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey answers a question during a news conference in Phoenix, on Dec. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File) Ross D. Franklin / AP Photo

Arizona plans to invest nearly $14 million to support career training and development programs for Arizona high school students and underserved communities, Governor Doug Ducey announced Thursday.

“Arizona is a land of limitless opportunity,” Governor Ducey said in a press release. “We are a state where anyone can get a good education and find a quality job. This funding will cement our position as a national model for preparing workers for tomorrow’s jobs – it will empower Arizonans by dramatically increasing job training opportunities.”

The funding will go to five separate job training programs in the state.

Most of the money ($9.5 million) will go to the Local First Arizona Foundation. Its newly-established Northern Arizona Good Jobs Network is working on developing a workforce training system in the region. 

“The network is designed to get individuals back to work and increase wage growth throughout in-demand sectors, while securing and retaining quality jobs,” the press release from the governor’s office said. “The effort will combine the work of community colleges, local employers, and ARIZONA@WORK to develop employer-based curricula and training programs.”

The Scholarpath program ($2 million) is the second-largest benefactor of this money.

The program helps students find their optimal post-high school career path, be it college, a trade, the military, or something else. 

“Scholarpath helps students plan for life after high school using analytics, verified data, and real-time connections to opportunities of interest,” the press release said. “It also allows higher education institutions, military installations, and private industry employers to connect with matched students seamlessly, all while maintaining the highest levels of student privacy and parental controls.”

ACT WorkKeys Assessment will also receive more than $1.6 million of this funding.

The program strives to help students obtain more information about various career paths after high school.

“The ACT WorkKeys Assessment provides a common language for educators, workforce developers, and employers to communicate skills required and for students to showcase their strengths and interests,” the governor’s office press release said. “Students who meet certain requirements on the WorkKeys Assessment will earn a National Career Readiness Certificate.”

Plus, $500,000 went to McKnight Educational Consulting for College Admissions.

The program helps African-American high school students and their parents navigate the college admissions process.

“Support from the McKnight Educational Consulting for College Admissions helps close the gap and help more students determine the best educational fit for them and successfully apply to a two-year or four-year college,” the press release said.

Additionally, EMS Staffing Solutions will receive $250,000 in funding. The program provides jobs, skills training, housing and transportation to formerly incarcerated people.

“EMS aims to create a future where men and women from all different walks of life can successfully enter the workforce and become contributing members of society while providing for themselves and their families,” the governor’s office’s press release said.

Republished with the permission of The Center Square.