New Platform Helps Nonprofits Connect Unemployed Individuals to Careers

Photo: The Dress for Success Store helps women re-enter the workforce

Pipeline AZ, an Arizona career development and job skills exploration platform, provides local nonprofits a platform to connect the community to jobs resources.

The platform puts local employers, organizations, educational institutions, industry knowledge and those looking to get their foot in the door of a particular industry all in one place. The career exploration hub has a skills assessment, informational industry events, makes recommendations for certification, training and education programs and provides deep industry insights.

“Pipeline AZ is more than a jobs board; it provides an equitable way for our community to find career paths they’re passionate about,” said Mary Foote, director of Pipeline AZ, a Partnership for Economic Innovation initiative. “Our local nonprofits do great work to help unemployed individuals prepare to enter the workforce. Our goal is to be their partners in bridging the gap between gaining the necessary skills and industry demands.”

So far, Pipeline AZ has partnered with several notable nonprofit organizations, including Local First Arizona, St. Mary’s Food Bank, Neighborhood Ministries, Ability 360, Habitat for Humanity, Tempe Community Action Agency, Arouet Empowers, St. Joseph Services, and Dress for Success.

“Dress for Success gives women in our community the tools they need to be economically independent,” said Veronica Lowe, mobile unit community engagement manager at Dress for Success. “Arizona’s job market is fast-paced and evolving quickly in response to industry trends, and employers are looking for qualified individuals to fill positions. Pipeline AZ gives the women in our programs a road map for future career success.”

In June 2020, Local First Arizona and Pipeline AZ worked together to revitalize the rural job market in Pinal County. The partnership’s goal is to connect rural job seekers with employers in their area. The Maricopa Association of Governments estimates that over the next 10 years, Pinal County will see between 1,800 and 3,400 new jobs each year, as well as a 50 percent population growth. By providing Pinal County residents with one centralized career exploration platform, they can find new employment close to home instead of relocating.

“Local First Arizona launched Pipeline AZ’s services in Pinal County to showcase local education and career opportunities,” said Lexie Krechel, rural community development manager at Local First Arizona. “Being from a rural community, I know first-hand that it often doesn’t seem like an option to get the required training and find a career that you qualify for or are interested in locally. Our goal is to break that mold; we want to communicate to those seeking employment in Pinal County that local opportunities do exist. Through a quick skills assessment on Pipeline AZ that links candidates directly to local training and career pathways, we are able to show job seekers the track to attain their career goals.”

Pipeline AZ is an initiative of the Partnership for Economic Innovation, a passionate collective of business and community leaders dedicated to accelerating Arizona’s economic opportunities. The work of Pipeline AZ is made possible in part by the Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority.

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