Who We Are
The struggle to attain economic equity for marginalized populations is very real and deeply personal. In Pima County, 1 out of every 5 residents lives beneath the poverty line. They struggle to reach financial independence. They often find themselves in minimum-wage positions with limited access to education and job training programs. This is a significant reason why more than 2/3 of those ages 25 and above in Pima County do not have above a high school education, even though by 2020, 2/3 of all jobs in Arizona will require it.
Yet even if they do enroll in an education program, they soon realize they need more than financial support to complete their education because of competing issues such as being the sole provider for their families, working multiple jobs, and being the first in their families to go to college.
That’s where JobPath comes in!
In the mid 1990’s, Pima County Interfaith Council (PCIC) and local business leaders found that while businesses in Pima County were struggling to find skilled employees to meet their workforce needs, many adult residents within Pima County were working multiple minimum wage jobs to support their families. Community leaders advocated for JobPath funding to help meet this urgent need through educational and job training support.
JobPath is breaking the cycle of generational poverty by removing the barriers to educational attainment for Pima County’s underserved adults so that they can lead healthier, more prosperous lives. Although JobPath participants are non-traditional (average age of 2017-18 participants was 32 years), impoverished (100% of 2017-18’s 300 participants fell below the poverty level per HUD guidelines), and with limited support networks of their own, they demonstrate passion about their program of study and commitment to completion.
Using a proven innovative approach, JobPath provides pathways out of poverty by financially, emotionally and socially supporting these hardworking, motivated adults in viable career paths that lead to high-wage positions in our community, primarily positions in healthcare and trade/technical programs. This combination of support is the critical difference!