FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 26, 2022
The Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation (Foundation) is excited to announce its education initiative, ElevateEdAZ has secured $1.5 million in new funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies. This funding will ensure that ElevateEdAZ helps even more individuals prepare for college and career opportunities by fostering stronger alignment between education, business, and the community.
“The Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation is thankful for Bloomberg Philanthropies’ generous support of ElevateEdAZ and commitment to education in Arizona. This funding will undoubtedly help the Foundation reach more young-Arizonans in need of high-quality education with education to workforce pathways that align with the needs of Arizona’s employers,” – Todd Sanders, president and CEO – Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation
“As Arizona and the Greater Phoenix region continue to be a hotbed for new businesses and competitive careers, it is more important than ever that we prepare our future workforce to meet the demands of our growing industries. It is also critical that we do not overlook young Arizonans who may not otherwise have exposure to high-paying, high-demand career pathways. Thanks to this funding, the Foundation can continue to prepare tomorrow’s workforce, today.” – Jaime A. Molera, ElevateEdAZ steering committee chair – Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation
With Bloomberg Philanthropies’ support, ElevateEdAZ will double its efforts to reach a total of eight high schools beginning next school year. ElevateEdAZ will work with these schools to accelerate and expand highly aligned pathways and increase work-based learning, credential, and early post-secondary credit attainment.
“We are proud to support ElevateEdAZ as part of our Career and Technical Education initiative,” said Jenny Sharfstein Kane who manages the Bloomberg Philanthropies education program’s College Access and Success, and Career and Technical Education portfolios. “ElevateEdAz’s work to connect the real needs of businesses to education and training opportunities in partner schools will help more Arizona students gain access to greater economic mobility and the strong career opportunities they deserve.”
Bloomberg Philanthropies has invested over $90 million since 2016 in expanding career programs and pathways for students. They support various high-quality job training opportunities for youth including apprentice-style programs that embed high school students in a workplace, and school-based career training programs that offer students the opportunity to learn about careers and earn industry-recognized credentials and certifications.
To date, ElevateEdAZ has impacted nearly twenty thousand students through educator externship experiences, career awareness and exploration events, work-based learning experiences, and interest and aptitude assessments.
“The partnership between Phoenix Union and ElevateEdAZ provides opportunities for students to explore careers and develop the soft skills needed to succeed in college, career, and life. The expansion of our partnership, thanks to this generous donation, will offer more access to career pathways for our students while increasing access to high-wage careers.” – Dr. Chad E. Gestson, Phoenix Union High School District
This investment builds on a prior strategic planning grant previously awarded to the Foundation in 2020. The initial planning grants made by Bloomberg Philanthropies resulted in an Education Landscape Analysis that highlighted specific challenges and disparities in Career and Technical Education (CTE) offerings and allowed for the development of a strategic plan to address these issues.
“Mesa Public Schools is honored to be chosen as an ElevateEdAZ partner school district. The resources and support provided by this funding ensure our students have a competitive advantage in the current and future workforce. Students who participate in the ElevateEdAZ programming will have the opportunity to not only graduate high school with a diploma but also build a portfolio of work through work-based learning experiences, that ensure they graduate college, career, and community ready. – Dr. Andi Fourlis, Superindentent – Mesa Public Schools
ElevateEdAZ has focused on engaging business in education through career awareness and exploration programs which connect employers to the classroom, Business Advisory Councils to ensure the skills taught in the classroom align to the needs of industry, and culminating work-based learning opportunities. ElevateEdAZ supports businesses that offer internships and job shadows and has established best practices in its Employer Work-Based Learning Guide.
ElevateEdAZ looks forward to putting this funding into action in 2022. Meanwhile, it remains focused on aligning classes and curriculum with workforce needs, creating opportunities for students to apply academics through work-based learning, increasing student exposure to career pathways and attainment of credentials and early postsecondary credit.
About the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation
The Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation (the Foundation) convenes and catalyzes business, education, and community to enhance college and career readiness, develop a stronger workforce, and build healthier communities throughout Arizona.
The Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, leads the charitable and education initiatives of the Greater Phoenix Chamber under the four pillars of education, workforce development, wellness, and research. Through strong alignment between education, business, and community, the Foundation prepares individuals for college and career and serves as an intermediary to convey workforce needs and champion scalable workforce solutions. In addition, the Foundation makes Arizona and the Greater Phoenix region known as destinations for healthy talent and healthy communities through workplace wellness efforts and publishes data-driven research to inform policymakers, business leaders, and the general public.