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Arizona donates $500,000 to help students prepare for workforce

LISTEN: State dollars to private education initiative

PHOENIX — Arizona is giving a monetary boost to an initiative that will help students across the state prepare for today’s labor market.

At a press conference Thursday morning, Gov. Doug Ducey announced an additional $1.24 million for expanding the Arizona Pathways to Prosperity. The program is run through the private group Center for the Future of Arizona.

Ducey said this type of public-private partnership is getting results.

“Businesses in our state are finding the talent they need,” he said. “And, our young people are finding good-paying jobs and fulfilling careers. There’s much more to do – but today is a big step forward.”

Arizona Pathways to Prosperity – which was created in 2015 – works with Arizona companies and industry to develop work, internship and certification opportunities. Students can get experience in all kinds of fields.

The additional $1.24 million in funding will pay for more programs and ways to prepare Arizona’s students for the future over the next three years.

“Oftentimes we don’t know what the job of the future is going to be,” the governor said. “We know that people are going to have several jobs throughout their career, so (this type of initiative is) preparing (students) for that type of success, preparing them with that type of flexibility.”

The governor said $500,000 in state money is going to the initiative. Grant funds totaling $500,000 were donated by the the Rodel Foundation of Arizona, the Ellis Center for Educational Excellence and the Arizona Community Foundation. JP Morgan Chase donated $240,000.

The Center for the Future of Arizona said the state ranks among the fastest-growing states in the nation. It also said at least 68 percent of Arizona jobs will require post-secondary education by 2020. Fifty-three percent of the state’s public high-school graduates go straight into college.

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