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Home News & Events Arizona Organizations Among Recipients of $14 Million Department of Labor Grant to Bolster Youth Workforce Development

Arizona Organizations Among Recipients of $14 Million Department of Labor Grant to Bolster Youth Workforce Development

Posted on March 27, 2024 • Category: News Release

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced the allocation of $14 million in grants to seven organizations across five states, aiming to fortify workforce development programs for youth when they are out of school. Among the recipients are Arizona organizations, including Pipeline AZ, Center for the Future of Arizona, and AZ Technology Council Foundation, operating as SciTech Institute. Goshen Consulting and RTRES Consulting are also partnering for grant research and evaluation support.

The grants, part of the Workforce Pathways for Youth demonstration initiative, seek to equip historically underserved youth aged 14 to 21 with essential skills and opportunities to access good-paying careers. The funding will support the delivery of job training, summer, and year-round workforce pathway programs, soft skills development, career exploration, job readiness, and industry-based certifications.

"This investment will be instrumental in advancing our Arizona Pathways to Prosperity initiative that connects Arizona's youth, especially those in rural areas, with STEM education and careers that are in high demand in the state," said Dr. Sybil Francis, Chair, President & CEO at Center for the Future of Arizona. "These collaborative efforts are ensuring that education and training are accessible to all, paving the way for a future where Arizona's growth and success are shared by every Arizonan."

Amber Smith, CEO of Pipeline AZ, emphasized the importance of collaborative partnership in enhancing workforce development systems: "Supporting students and jobseekers in Arizona’s rural communities to make strategic decisions about their careers through coordinated youth programs is critical to enhancing the state’s workforce development systems, future workforce, and reducing poverty."

In alignment with these sentiments, Dr. Jeremy Babendure, SciTech Institute’s Executive Director, highlighted the significance of the grant in fostering equitable access to STEM education and careers: "This funding will go directly to supporting programs that ensure underserved populations in Arizona have access to the training and tools they need to be competitive in the ever-evolving STEM workforce. We need to proactively engage youth in exploring the pathways that will shape their future."

The initiative reflects the Department of Labor's commitment to providing a "no-wrong-door" approach for youth to access quality employment opportunities. It is administered by the Employment and Training Administration.

For more information about the grant recipient organizations featured:

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