Arizona foundations partner with Governor Ducey to commit $1.24 million to expand Arizona Pathways to Prosperity

Posted on January 25, 2018 • Category: News Releases

Strategic investments will accelerate the development of a regional system for aligning student career paths with industry needs and create long-term opportunities for youth

Rodel Foundation of Arizona, Arizona Community Foundation (ACF), Ellis Center for Educational Excellence and JPMorgan Chase Foundation joined with Governor Doug Ducey and the Center for the Future of Arizona today, to announce a $1.24 million public-private investment to fund an expanded system of career pathways, which are responsive to industry growth needs and create long-term career opportunities for young people in Arizona.

Funding will be provided over a three-year period and directed to the Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA), a nonpartisan, nonprofit “do tank” that serves as the state lead for Arizona Pathways to Prosperity. This new investment will accelerate the strategic pathways work being led by CFA and build on the successes achieved since the initiative was created in 2015. Original support was provided by the Arizona Governor’s Office, ACF and JPMorgan Chase Foundation.

“Public-private partnerships are critical in finding solutions for improving the quality of Arizona public schools,” said Governor Ducey. “The Arizona Pathways to Prosperity initiative has shown to increase educational attainment, career preparedness, workforce readiness and economic competitiveness by giving young people the opportunity to grow into life-long careers.”

Gov. Ducey’s pledge today of $500,000 for Arizona Pathways to Prosperity will be matched by $500,000 in grant funds committed by the newly-formed alliance of Arizona-based foundations: Rodel, ACF and Ellis. JPMorgan Chase Foundation extended its support by committing $240,000 in new grant dollars to the initiative.

“This philanthropic alliance marks a new direction for Rodel,” said Jackie Norton, President and CEO, Rodel Foundation of Arizona. “We realized we could build greater capacity for solving complex challenges in education by collaborating with like-minded foundations and key partners to break the go-it-alone tendency prevalent in philanthropy. This alliance between Rodel, ACF and Ellis is a critical first step.”

What is Arizona Pathways to Prosperity?

Arizona Pathways to Prosperity brings together businesses and industry, higher education and high schools to work collaboratively to design industry-driven career pathways that enable more young people to earn degrees and credentials with labor market value.

“Governor Ducey recognizes that the supply side of the workforce needs to be aligned with its demand side – industry and employers,” said Steve Seleznow, President and CEO, Arizona Community Foundation. “There is no doubt that this effort will help Arizona build a world-class workforce.”

Infrastructure for a system of career pathways is being developed through strategic efforts including Arizona Pathways to Prosperity, a CFA initiative which uniquely brings private sector businesses to the table to shape career pathways that matter most to Arizona industry.

Arizona Pathways to Prosperity allows students to learn about careers, gain work-based experiences, earn college credit aligned with their interests during their high school years, and obtain relevant postsecondary credentials to launch careers while leaving open the prospect of future education. Partner schools create early and sustained career information and advising systems. Employers provide a continuum of workplace learning opportunities.

Since its launch in 2015, the initial emphasis of Arizona Pathways to Prosperity has been on developing and proving out regional pathways in Phoenix and Tucson. Career pathways currently being built out focus on Arizona growth sectors including:

  • IT/Cybersecurity,
  • Advanced Manufacturing,
  • Energy, and
  • Health/Bioscience

Early successes of the initiative include:

  • 4 early college and career pathways developed,
  • 40+ private businesses and industry partners committed to the network, and
  • 15+ educational partners committed to the network including Maricopa Community Colleges and Pima Community Colleges.

“This initiative will help Arizona’s youth obtain high-quality career-focused education that leads to good jobs and long-term careers,” said Noreen Bishop, Managing Director and Arizona Market Manager, J.P. Morgan Private Bank.

Strategic Alignment of Arizona Industry with Education

CFA’s work through Arizona Pathways to Prosperity is focused on aligning existing initiatives rather than creating new programs.

“We have a multitude of excellent, industry specific efforts all over the state,” said Norton. “What is lacking is a connectivity between the different programs and a way to match the projected needs of Arizona employers. Arizona Pathways to Prosperity moves us in this direction and is a win for businesses and students in our state.”

Arizona Pathways to Prosperity aligns with Governor Ducey’s major education priorities to ensure a world-class, 21st century education that will strengthen Arizona’s talent pipeline and bolster state and regional economies.

The new investment in Arizona Pathways to Prosperity reinforces Gov. Ducey’s support of multiple and individual routes to postsecondary education and aligning education outcomes with the needs of employers. It also aligns with the Arizona Education Progress Meter and advances the Achieve60AZ attainment goal of having 60 percent of Arizonans holding a college degree, certificate or credential by 2030.

“Arizona is serving as a model for other states by working with employers to shape college and career pathways for students,” said Dr. Sybil Francis, Executive Director, Center for the Future of Arizona. “CFA’s critical role in bringing together K-12, higher education institutions and private sector employers – through its work in Arizona Pathways to Prosperity – supports Arizona’s long-term economic prosperity and expands future career opportunities for our youth.”

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About the Rodel Foundation of Arizona
The Rodel Foundation of Arizona’s vision is for Arizona to have one of the best pre-kindergarten through grade 12 educational systems in the country by 2020. For more information on the Foundation’s mission and initiatives, contact Rodel at 480-367-2920 or visit

About Arizona Community Foundation
Established in 1978, the Arizona Community Foundation is a statewide family of charitable funds supported by thousands of Arizonans. With five regional offices serving communities across Arizona, ACF is among the top 30 community foundations in the nation with more than $855 million in trust and endowment assets, and is certified under the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations. Last year, ACF and its affiliates awarded more than $55 million in grants and scholarship funding to some 3,500 nonprofit organizations, schools and government agencies. More information is available at

About the JPMorgan Chase Foundation
Our mission is to enable more people to contribute to and share in the rewards of a growing economy. We believe that reducing inequality and creating widely-shared prosperity requires collaboration of business, government, nonprofit and other civic organizations, particularly in the cities and metropolitan regions that power economic growth. We take a comprehensive approach to increasing economic opportunity, using our firm's global scale, talent and resources to make investments and create partnerships in four priority areas: Workforce ReadinessSmall Business ExpansionFinancial CapabilityCommunity Development. In 2016, the firm and its Foundation gave nearly $250 million to nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and in 40 countries around the world. In addition, more than 50,000 JPMorgan Chase employees provided 325,000 hours of volunteer service in the communities where they live and work.

About the Center for the Future of Arizona
The Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) is helping define and shape Arizona’s future through an action-oriented agenda that focuses on issues critical to the state. More than a think tank, CFA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “do tank” that combines research with collaborative partnerships and initiatives that drive the state’s economic prosperity, quality of life and civic health, and create a better future for all Arizonans.

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