Everyone who wants a good job should be able to get one. County government doesn’t play a direct role in growing the economy, but there are things we can do to increase job opportunities. I wanted to share a few examples that are near and dear to me.
The Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority (mcida.com) recently granted $40,000 to St. Mary’s Food Bank so it could expand its Community Kitchen program.
I’ve been involved with St. Mary’s for a number of years and have always appreciated the work it does to provide meals and connections to those who are less fortunate. Community Kitchen takes the mission further and trains people to get and keep jobs in the food service industry, which may enable them to avoid coming back to the food bank.
I like that this investment will nearly double the number of people the program serves, especially when you consider they are homeless, formerly incarcerated, or face other barriers to employment. The $40,000 will go a long way to helping people turn their lives around, and it all starts with some skills and a stable job.
Military and Veteran
The IDA is also helping put veterans back to work. Last year, the IDA provided a nearly $1 million grant to Maricopa Community College Foundation to run the Military and Veteran Success Center at Luke Air Force Base. The center helps current and former military and their families with the transition to civilian life. Importantly, it provides them with plans that meet their individual needs, including resources for building resumes, applying for jobs, and making connections that lead to new careers.
Maricopa County partners with the state of Arizona to run career centers across the region including one near 95th Avenue and McDowell Road in the West Valley. This is a place where anyone can come for resources, whether you’re young or experienced; employed, underemployed, unemployed, or looking for someone to employ.
Job seekers can get career guidance and assessments; customized training; resume help; and access to the latest job listings and hiring events. Employers can find recruits and take advantage of employee development programs that will make their business operate more efficiently. Community partners who join the Arizona @ Work (arizonaatwork.com) network can help their clients and play a role in strengthening the local economy.
Those are just a few examples of how Maricopa County government (with help from public, private and nonprofit partners) is helping to create opportunities for people who are willing to work hard. To learn more, check out the “jobs” playlist on our YouTube page, (https://bit.ly/2Mv1sLV).
– Clint Hickman’s family owns Hickman’s Family Farms and he serves on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors for District 4.