Pima County youth programs receive $1.05 million grant

Published: Aug. 3, 2015 at 2:40 PM MST|Updated: Aug. 17, 2015 at 2:40 PM MST
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PIMA COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A $1.05 million grant has been awarded to three youth programs, according to a recent release.

There are over 130 Pima County youth who will benefit from the programs who are receiving the U.S. Department of Labor grant money. Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona is the lead organization, in partnership with Pima County One-Stop Career Center, Pima Prevention Partnership and Tucson Youth Development.

GoodFutures Face Forward 3, will be one of the programs to receive funds. It will go to support youth 14 to 24 with programming to include case management, career planning, high school/GED tutoring, workforce training, mentoring, service learning, expungement services, diversion opportunities and work experience placements.

"This DOL funding will allow multiple youth-serving agencies to partner and provide a continuum of care for youth who have been involved in the juvenile justice system," said Beth Hannon-Penny, Workforce Development Director of Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona. "Collaboration between the juvenile justice system and our three agencies will ensure youth find the services and direction they need to engage in school, work with caring mentors and adults, explore their talents, obtain workforce training and develop positive mindsets about their future."

Pima Prevention Partnership offers 'real world' workforce training with an initial 12 weeks of culinary job training and adult mentoring. While in the kitchen, youth learn life skills and soft skills. After three short months, youth are prepared to enter the culinary workforce.

"This funding enhances Pima Prevention Partnership's ability to serve our community's vulnerable adolescents by offering impactful job readiness training combined with mentoring and academic support," said DeeAnn Arroyo, Director of Prevention Services. "We are ready to ensure that the youth at our charter middle and high school and those involved in our prevention and behavioral health treatment programs have access to these supports."

Tucson Youth Development is using the grant money to support the operations at two charter high schools - ACE Charter and Youth Works Charter High School that provides academic/educational services, job training, case management and job placement.

"This grant provides an important opportunity for youth who have been involved in the legal system to actually turn their lives around," said Jay Slauter, Principal and Executive Director. "Through the grant, resources are available to get them back into school so they can graduate. But this is only the beginning of the opportunities available…In the long run, the community will be the greatest beneficiary of positive outcomes of the grant. Homelessness will be decreased. Youth will be trained to work in career employment. And they will be supported throughout the process."

"These efforts will lead to increased school retention, credential obtainment, and pro-social behaviors while reducing recidivism for youth. The community will benefit through increased civic engagement from youth, volunteers, and all partners involved," explains Hannon-Penny.

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