Graduation season is upon us, and this year, some high school students will be wearing a special medal from ElevateEdAZ as they take the stage to receive their diplomas. Throughout the pandemic, ElevateEdAZ, the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation’s strategic education initiative, has triumphed through adversity, helping students branch out and preparing them for long-term success. ElevateEdAZ prepares our future workforce for college and career through stronger alignment between education, business, and the community. Over the past year, ElevateEdAZ has expanded to five schools across two districts, impacting over 13,000 students and providing job shadow and internship opportunities to hundreds of students.

This year, ElevateEdAZ partnered with Phoenix Union High School District and Mesa Public Schools and is focused on increasing the number of students enrolled in and completing high-wage, high demand pathways, increasing student attainment of industry recognized credentials and early post-secondary credit, providing more students with work-based learning experiences, and empowering educators to reimagine classroom learning through educator externships. At ElevateEdAZ’s Annual Celebration, we heard about the highlights, successes, and challenges uncovered over the last year. Both business partners and students attended the event where more than 10 students from this school year’s internship program were honored for their work with local employers.

We work closely with Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs aligning to high-wage, high-demand industries including architecture and construction, business management & administration, marketing and sales, engineering, finance, health sciences, IT & cybersecurity, manufacturing, transportation, distribution, and logistics. Through these programs, students gain both technical and professional skills that will allow for future success in college and career.

I want to extend a special thank you to our business partners at Able Aerospace, Bulletproof Diesel, Chandler Police Department, GenTech Support, Honeywell Aerospace, Ideas Collide, PeerSquared, Prisma, and Southwest Truck Driving School for making these internships and learning opportunities available to our Valley students. It was inspiring to have businesses announce at the Annual Celebration that several students are being hired following their internships, pending high school graduation. I know these opportunities will allow these students to begin their careers strong and pursue post-secondary education to build a successful future.

Help me congratulate our graduates on their achievements, and rest assured the Chamber is here to help you move forward, post-graduation. ElevateEdAZ is securing Arizona’s workforce’s future today by placing students in real-world professional and technical education settings linking businesses and educators. As Arizona students receive their diplomas, I know their futures are bright with the encouragement of our business community and the programs ElevateEdAZ and the Foundation have to offer. The sky’s the limit!


Posted by Annelise Patterson