The team from Pima County Interfaith discussed JobPath, Kidco, immigration, education and healthcare with the Mayor on Friday. He plans to attend the City Primary Accountability Session on July 27th and the St. John’s SPICE awards presentation on July 30th.
At today’s County Supervisors meeting, Supervisors Sharon Bronson, Richard Elias and Ramon Valadez voted 3-2 to approve a County Budget that included a 20% increase for JobPath. This is in line with PCICEO/SAI’s goal from last October’s Accountability Session to double JobPath’s County funding by 2020. The highly successful JobPath Program has over a 98% retention rate in some fields and has now moved over 1,500 struggling Pima County residents through training and into living wage jobs.
Over 500 local residents attended a bilingual “Education and Economic Success for All” Accountability Session at Amphitheater High School on Sunday evening, Oct. 2nd. Over 50 congregations, schools and community groups participated. State legislature candidates Chris Ackerley (R), Rosanna Gabaldon (D), and Daniel Hernandez (D) from AZ House LD 2, Randy Friese (D), and Pamela Powers Hannley (D), from House LD 9 and County Supervisor District 3 Candidates Sharon Bronson (D), and Kim DeMarco (R), attended, answered a series of specific yes-no questions, and then explained their responses.
The topics covered education, hunger/food security, SPICE (synthetic marijuana), JobPath workforce funding, and affordable housing. The session also included a discussion of the pros and cons of the $48 million Amphi Bond Proposition 447.
Amphi neighborhood resident and Sacred Heart member, Christina Crawford, shared the evening’s most dramatic story, concerning her son’s SPICE addiction. She challenged the candidates and legislators in attendance to change the laws: “Get this stuff out of the stores and smoke shops! Get it out of the hands of our children and neighbors!”
The session was co-sponsored by Southern Arizona Interfaith, the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, the Amphitheater School District, Literacy Connects and the UA College of Education.
Other attending candidates included US Congressional District 2 candidate Matt Heinz, Arizona Corporation Commission candidate Tom Chabin, State legislative candidates Andrea Dalessandro, (LD 2 Senate), Stephanie Mach, and Kirsten Engle, (LD 10 House), County Supervisor candidate Richard Elias, District 5, Pima County School Superintendent candidate Dustin Williams, Pima Community College Governing Board candidate Martha Durkin, District 5, Amphi Governing Board candidates Deanna Day and Julie Cozad, and TUSD Governing Board candidate Rachael Sedgwik.
Hundreds of participants pledged to vote and get at least 10 others to vote and dozens pledged to do a non-partisan get-out-the-vote walk on Saturday, Oct. 15th from 9 to 11:30 am. The walkers met at Literacy Connects located at 200 E. Yavapai, a block east of Amphi High School.
On Tuesday night, the Mayor and Council told 30 Pima County Interfaith and JobPath leaders that they would cut JobPath’s city budget by 7%. However, five of them pledged to make up the funding loss from private funds. Mayor Rothschild and Council Member Paul Cunningham have already met with Bombardier and TMC and have pledged, along with Council Members Regina Romero, Richard Fimbres, and Karen Uhlich, to work with PCICEO and JobPath to raise the “cut funds.”
PCICEO Executive Team member Rev. Leah Sandwell-Weiss (St. Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church), told the council that, “JobPath provides parents not only the opportunity to move up to middle-class jobs, but also the opportunity to improve their lives with better housing, education for their children, and family life.” Both she and Art Mendoza (JobPath Board member and President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)), stressed the importance of public funding for education, economic development and anti-poverty efforts. He said, “Now is a great time to invest more in these students, not less: this reduction will impact the number of students we serve and it sends the wrong message about the City’s economic recovery.”
Pima County Interfaith will follow-up with the Mayor and Council and challenge them to set meetings with at least 20 area businesses until the funding gap has been erased. It will also challenge Council Members Steve Kozachik and Shirley Scott to participate in these meetings.
On another note, on Tuesday the Pima County Board of Supervisors approved a tentative budget that includes a 16% increase of funding for JobPath to $500,000.
Deb Tilley, a JobPath participant, shared her daily mantra with the Mayor and City Council on Tuesday: “I will go to class. I will pass my exams. I will graduate. I will get a job. I will succeed in my career.” Deb will graduate from Pima Community College on May 19th as a Dental Assistant. She is a recently divorced homemaker who cares for her invalid mother and has a son who is both a veteran and a JobPath student in the PCC Aviation Technology Program. Roughly 30 Pima County Interfaith leaders and JobPath participants stood with Deb in support of JobPath funding. Tim Walrath, from new PCICEO member Northwest Community Church, then told the Council, that these are the ‘second chance’ people that warrant the City’s investment.
Business leader and JobPath Board Member Bruce Dusenberry said funding JobPath makes great economic sense as well. A new study, “Long Term Impacts of JobPath Graduates on Pima County” showed that graduate wages triple, and that the Tucson economy benefits because nearly 80% remain in Pima County for the long-haul to work, raise families, and buy cars and houses. Deb also said she’s already been offered a job!
View/download the Applied Economics Study HERE.
A recent five year study of JobPath graduates found that, even during the recent recession, four-fifths have remained in Pima County and increased their earnings by an average of $3,700/year. The Applied Economics LCC study found that these graduates have already had a $34 million economic impact on Pima County. Sarah Murley of Applied Economics told a meeting of business, education and government leaders that “some of these people tripled or even quadrupled their pre-training wage.”
County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry noted that JobPath has a 20:1 return on investment and that these 300 recent graduates’ income has increased by $10 million over the last five years. See AZ Daily Star and AZPM pieces below. To view full economic impacts, see JobPath at http://www.jobpath.net/results. View the report itself HERE.
JobPath was founded in 1998 by Pima County Interfaith and local business leaders and has moved over 1,400 participants through training, out of poverty and into living-wage jobs in health, aviation, IT and other fields. It has transformed the lives of families, moved many off public assistance and increased the pool of trained workers in our community. It’s a great example of implementing the Iron Rule,“Never do for others that they can do for themselves.”
Pima Community College Chancellor Lee Lambert and five key Pima County Interfaith Civic Education Organization leaders signed the first ever Memorandum of Understanding between the college and the interfaith group. The purpose of the Memorandum is to promote collaboration around civic engagement, student leadership training, grant and resource development projects, and other mutually beneficial activities. The Memorandum will be in effect for 5 years.
Speakers at the event were Monsignor Raúl Trevizo, Pastor of St. John the Evangelist and Vicar General of the Catholic Diocese of Tucson, Rev. Sharon Ragland, Senior Pastor of St. Mark’s Methodist UMC, Fr. Tom Tureman, S.D.S., Pastor of Most Holy Trinity Catholic, Rev. Delle McCormick, Senior Pastor of Rincon Congregational UCC, and Deaconess Marjie Hrabe, President of the PCICEO Board. Rev. Ragland spoke of the importance of Pima to her daughter’s success, and Msgr. Trevizo recalled teaching classes at PCC as one of his first jobs after college. All the speakers stressed the importance of students being supported, engaged and successful.
PCC student ambassador Nick Myers said he was looking forward to working with Pima County Interfaith so that he could be an effective advocate for the college and help put the word “community” back into Pima’s future. PCC graduate and Civics Program member Mireya Escamilla recalled the successful County Bond that PCIC worked on that led to the construction of the El Pueblo and El Rio Adult Learning Centers. She said that her success as an immigrant in the United States was due largely to PCC and Pima County Interfaith.
The ceremony was attended by three members of the PCC Board of Governors, Chair Sylvia Lee, Marty Cortez and Mark Hanna, as well as College Campus Presidents David Doré and Morgan Phillips. In addition, PCC Adult Education Dean Regina Suitt, Scholarships A-Z Executive Director Matt Matera, JobPath Director of Operations Pat Trainor, and many PCICEO and PCC supporters and staff attended the event.
PCICEO Board President Marjie Hrabe announced four first steps, including two student leadership training events this week at the PCC West Campus and the El Rio Learning Center.
View/download image of the original agreement HERE.
Congratulations, Friends of PCIC-CEO … And a special thank you to those of you who took the time to attend today's County Supervisor's meeting!
The vote was 4 to 1 with Supervisors Elias, Valadez, Bronson, and Carroll voting to put the 7 propositions on the November Ballot.
Pastor Randy Mayer of Good Shepherd UCC Sahuarita spoke powerfully for the Bond Coalition saying that this is our chance to leave our county in better shape than we found it. He also said that PCIC & Southern AZ Interfaith will work hard to help get the propositions passed this November.
Now the rubber meets the road: It's up to US to pass it!
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