Phoenix IDA Awards Year Up Arizona $50,000 Grant to Expand Workforce Development

Posted By on December 6, 2018

Phoenix City Councilwoman Felicita Mendoza, Phoenix IDA CEO Juan Salgado, Phoenix IDA Board Member Charlene Tarver, Year Up Arizona Executive Director Kim Owens, Year Up alumni and current students during a check presentation on December 4 at GateWay Community College.

The Phoenix IDA has awarded Year Up Arizona a $50,000 community development grant to expand its workforce development program to 120 underserved young adults in the Greater Phoenix area.

The program’s goal is to provide the young adults with marketable, in-demand skills needed to secure their financial independence and mobility and build successful pathways toward higher education.

Year Up is a yearlong workforce development program where students receive six months of technical and professional skills training, followed by a six-month internship at a leading Valley company. The program serves young adults from 18 to 24 who are unemployed or underemployed and have a high school diploma/GED, but have no viable connection to living wage employment or post-secondary education.

“The grant will help us support 120 students in two cohorts next year,” said Kim Owens, executive director, Year Up Arizona.  “Our program significantly impacts their lives — and their families and communities. Our alumni earn average starting salaries of $17.00/hour or $34,000/year — more than double the federal minimum wage, which many of our students earn prior to program enrollment. We are extremely grateful for the Phoenix IDA’s support and commitment to our mission.”

“We are pleased to provide funding for educating and training young adults, so they can move along the path to meaningful and sustainable employment,” said Phoenix IDA CEO Juan Salgado. “Our grants to organizations like Year Up Arizona allow us to invest in the community and support vulnerable populations,” added Salgado.

Since 2015, Year Up Arizona has provided more than 650 young adults with in-demand skills.

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