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Phoenix program gives city employees opportunity to further education

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix College)

PHOENIX – The city of Phoenix has teamed up with Phoenix College to provide educational opportunities for its employees.

Workers can take classes from the community college in subjects such as accounting principles, web development, workplace communication and customer service and have their tuition reimbursed if they earn grades of C or better.

The program, called Neighborhood College, began as a pilot for employees in the finance department.

“As we started to dig into that more and see the kind of demand we were getting, and interest, it expanded to all employees who were interested in pursuing their associate’s degrees,” Matthew Heil, deputy communications director for the city, told KTAR News 92.3 FM last week.

Heil said 110 employees have been taking classes through the program, which started last semester. The next session begins Wednesday.

“We’re really kind of focused on providing those skills that let them develop professionally into other positions, like the procurement officers in the city, which require some advanced training,” Heil said.

Classes are offered online as well as downtown near the city offices.

“They immediately can get to class; they don’t have to hassle with commutes,” Heil said.

The city sees the program as both a way for current employees to further their careers and a recruiting tool to lure new workers.

“I hope that people will take another look at working at the city of Phoenix because we really are interested in being an employer of choice here in the Valley,” Heil said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nailea Leon contributed to this report.

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