Coalition Bridges Gaps to Ensure Equitable Access to Career Readiness
~ August, 2023
Arizona industry leaders in career development, educational institutions, and employer partners are joining together to launch the Arizona Coalition for Career Readiness. The coalition’s goal is to advance Arizonans’ quality of life with career development opportunities to help meet the workforce goals outlined in Achieve60AZ, an initiative that aims to help 60% of Arizona adults attain a postsecondary degree or credential by 2030.
“Technology, cybersecurity, construction and heavy equipment are among the fastest growing industries seeking new talent,” said Jim Zaharis, executive vice president at Arizona Business and Education Coalition. “ABEC is proud to partner with ACCR to support their efforts to connect students to these organizations and fortify the future of the Arizona workforce.”
Read the full Greater Phoenix inBusiness article here.
Learn more about ACCR here.
ABEC supports the MY Future AZ Platform
In August 2021, the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) launched MyFutureAZ (https://myfutureaz.pipelineaz.com/), a new career exploration and planning platform, for students across the state. MyFutureAZ utilizes proven technology and infrastructure from Pipeline AZ, an Arizona career development and job skills exploration platform, to offer students comprehensive resources and support to plan for their future careers. ABEC, through financial support provided by the AZ GEARUP and the Arizona Community Foundation, and in collaboration with the Center for the Future of Arizona, provided financial support to extend MyFutureAZ into the middle grades.
ABEC is proud to have been a long-term partner in the establishment of this statewide technology platform that is accessible to all Arizona P20 students, parents, teachers and future employers for their career development, education and information. ABEC officers Jim Zaharis and Deb Raeder have been involved in helping this dream become a reality for well over 15 years. We are proud to have been part of this alignment to provide this free service to Arizona's rising generation as they find their way into the talent pipeline, build their careers and seek economic independence.
The Arizona Coalition for Career Readiness
This effort is part of ABEC’s involvement in the development of a statewide voluntary career education model integrating partners and existing independent successful components into an overall strategic plan to ensure all students have access to quality career awareness, exploration, preparation, and placement programs, of which PipelineAz and MyFutureAz are key components.
The work of key partners is also being integrated to form a cohesive, conceptual plan that can be understood, communicated, and utilized by all Arizona citizens.
ABEC is uniquely qualified to help lead this work because it is a non-partisan, statewide organization with a focus on K-20 education fostered by business and community leaders and partners. The report and recommendations of the Pipeline AZ Education Leadership Group’s report (in which ABEC played a leading role), Dear Arizona: A Call from Educators – Reimagining Career Development for All Arizona Students, is being utilized to guide this work.
The Arizona Coalition for Career Readiness Leadership team has been formed and, staffed by Rachel Yanoff, is working diligently to ensure all students/schools/communities with career related options:
- Support the continued development of an integrated technology one-stop portal for students, families, and employers that optimizes access to currently available resources.
- Develop strategies that provide equal opportunity for education, career development and training for all Arizona students.
- Develop strategies to ensure available resources and human capital to deliver quality career development to students.
- Facilitate a process to develop or expand a state level mechanism to focus the state’s effort in making Arizona a premier producer of talent for the workforce pipeline.
Through ABEC’s collaborative partnerships, a solid foundation is in place to ensure students and communities with:
- Equitable access to career related options;
- A singular, shared technology tool; and
- Feedback loop for education/industry.
This compilation of many years of efforts will now explore the possibility of Arizona legislation modeled after “Talent Ready Utah” which was a direct product of business leadership in Utah which ABEC now seeks to mimic in Arizona as well!
These outstanding collaborative efforts have been nurtured with passion and dedication by Dr. James Zaharis, Executive Vice President, ABEC.
For more information on any of these projects or how your school, business, or community can get involved, contact Jim, by email at Jim@azbec.org