Phoenix City Council eyes expansion of ElevateEdAZ programs at public schools
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press
Phoenix City Council has approved $750,000 to the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation to expand its education initiative, ElevateEdAZ.
The foundation launched the education initiative in March 2020, partnering with Phoenix Union High School District, whereas the new expansion will include Paradise Valley Unified School District, Deer Valley Unified School District, and ASU Preparatory Academy.
ElevateEdAZ’s new expansion will now span 13 schools across four school districts and a charter network, impacting over 26,000 students and teachers in the Greater Phoenix region by preparing students for college and career, officials close to the matter say.
“Creating the economy of the future for Phoenix means we’re creating the jobs of the future, too. Having young people who are clear-eyed and well-prepared for these jobs is essential,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “I applaud ElevateEdAZ for all it continues to do to make sure our kids – and their teachers — have access to the best tools and information available.”
To date, ElevateEdAZ has partnered with over 100 local businesses to provide internships, job shadows, mock interviews, and other career-connected learning to over 30,000 students and teachers, according to a press release.
“Through ElevateEdAZ, we have seen a significant increase in students enrolling in dual credit courses, obtaining industry-recognized credentials, and garnering work-based experiences through internships and job shadows. These opportunities have led to jobs and are changing the trajectory for these students and their families. We are proud the city of Phoenix has partnered with us to help expand this impact throughout the city,” said Jennifer Mellor, chief, innovation officer, Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation. “Providing more students exposure to high-wage, high-demand ￼pathways provides them a leg up in college and career while preparing the workforce we need for the future.”
ElevateEdAZ is working with schools and school districts to:
- Increase the number of students completing high-wage, high-demand career pathways through stronger pathway articulation and career awareness activities.
- Increase attainment of industry-recognized credentials and early post-secondary credit by removing barriers to dual enrollment and incentivizing students and teachers for improved outcomes.
- Provide more students with work-based learning experience by applying academics through internships and job shadows.
- Empower educators to reimagine classroom learning through Educator Externships where teachers learn skillsets industry leaders are seeking in job candidates and can access pathways and support systems to integrate these skills into their curriculum.
Phoenix Councilwoman Laura Pastor calls education a ‘critical’ component for any neighborhood or as community to thrive.
“As a previous teacher and school board member, I understand how critical education is,” she said. “This partnership between ElevateEdAZ and five high school districts will provide access to work-based learning options to over 26,000 Arizona high school students. These learning opportunities will prepare high school students to compete for high demand and higher paying post-high school opportunities.”