Phoenix’s ElevateEdAZ joins the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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The Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation’s strategic education initiative, ElevateEdAZ, is proud to announce its participation in Accelerate ED: seamless pathways to degrees and careers. This initiative is part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and aims to blur the lines between high school and higher education and professional learning experiences, allowing students to earn a career-aligned degree or diploma at the end of an extra year after high school. .

ElevateEdAZ, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation, Greater Phoenix Chamber

Along with 11 other Accelerate ED grantees representing diverse communities and labor markets, ElevateEdAZ will focus on redesigning K-12 and higher education structures to strengthen local schools, higher education, organizations community and employer partnerships. This will align common goals to determine the experiences and opportunities all students should have in grades 9-13 and identify innovative ways to increase access to reach all students.

ElevateEdAZ will seek to expand existing initiatives in the Greater Phoenix area to ensure that more students earn an associate degree by the end of an additional year after high school graduation and are set a course for future economic opportunity with a $175,000 grant received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

ElevateEdAZ aims to develop and sustain robust, vertically aligned learning pathways between education and the workforce and create a more skilled and diverse workforce through the weaving of a curriculum secondary with economic and labor priorities. Already at five high schools in Phoenix and Mesa, the initiative is focused on increasing the completion of industry-recognized post-secondary degrees and credits.

“Accelerate ED’s mission and generous funding make it an ideal partner to extend the reach of ElevateEdAZ. With this support, the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation will reach more students, helping them prepare to excel in Arizona’s high-wage, high-skills, high-demand, advanced manufacturing careers. – Todd Sanders, President and CEO – Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation.

ElevateEdAZ and all Accelerate ED Scholars are participating in a six-month design sprint to learn from each other and find practical solutions to barriers that currently limit the availability of these opportunities for all students. This sprint includes technical assistance and one-on-one coaching from community organizations that can help strengthen partnerships between K-12, higher education, local employers, and youth-serving organizations and ensure that students are heard and focused on this work.

ElevateEdAZ will use advanced manufacturing as a model industry to help students earn 30 dual-enrollment credits toward manufacturing degrees at Maricopa County community colleges and earn an associate degree within one year of graduation. of their high school diploma.

In collaboration with Phoenix Union High School District, Mesa Public Schools, and Maricopa County Community College District, the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation will replicate this pathway developed in Mesa Public Schools at other high schools in the Phoenix Union High School District and provide a demonstrative model. for other districts in the state to meet industry needs in Arizona.

“We need to invest in Arizona’s future workforce today, and ElevateEdAZ is doing just that. Accelerate ED shares a similar mission nationwide. We are grateful for this funding and excited to work alongside the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help high school students earn associate degrees. The impact of graduating early will be monumental in ensuring that our pool of advanced manufacturing talent is strong and that students receive the skills they need to thrive,” – Jennifer Mellor, Director of innovation – Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation.

Research shows that these efforts are especially critical for Black and Latino students and students from low-income backgrounds who have historically had less access to high-quality, career-aligned educational pathways. Additionally, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact college enrollment and student performance, there is an urgent need to invest in pathways between K-12, higher education and workforce to bridge high schools, colleges and career paths. alignment.

About the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation

The Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation (the Foundation) brings together and catalyzes business, education, and the community to improve college and career readiness, develop a stronger workforce, and build healthier communities throughout Arizona and catalyzes business, education, and community to improve college and career readiness, develop a stronger workforce, and build healthier communities throughout Arizona.

The Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, directs the charitable and educational initiatives of the Greater Phoenix Chamber under the four pillars of education, Workforce development, The well-beingand to research. Through strong alignment between education, business and community, the Foundation prepares individuals for college and career and serves as a conduit to convey workforce needs and advocate for workforce solutions. -evolving works. Additionally, the Foundation promotes Arizona and the Greater Phoenix area as destinations for healthy talent and healthy communities through workplace wellness efforts and publishes data-driven research to inform decision makers, business leaders and the general public.

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