The success of Arizona’s workforce depends on how prepared it is to meet the challenges of an economy in which 64 percent of the jobs nationwide by 2020 will require a college degree or career certificate after high school.
To activate our leadership role on this issue, we are addressing today’s growing, real-world workforce needs with the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Emerging Business Leaders Initiative (EBLI), a model partnership between the Chamber, Helios Education Foundation (Helios); Arizona Community Foundation (ACF); Arizona Public Service (APS); College Success Arizona (CSA) and Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!).
What makes our partnership unique is its complete, wrap-around approach to education, career preparedness and workforce development.
To make it happen, the Helios Education Foundation provided a $150,000 financial contribution to fund post-secondary business scholarships, Arizona Public Service provided $250,000 to fund the Ed and Verma Pastor Scholarship Fund, and several fundraising initiatives, including the Chamber’s annual Bud Shootout Golf Tournament, provide additional funding for our scholarships and the Young Entrepreneurs Academy.
ACF utilizes its technological platform and staff to help administer our scholarships. The AZHCC assists in the recruitment and selection of scholarship recipients, and provides paid internship opportunities at AZHCC and with corporate partners and small business members. CSA provides support services to ensure EBLI Scholars succeed in pursuing higher education with orientation and coaching sessions, hands-on training and workshops, financial aid advice, peer counseling, academic schedule planning, and connectivity to on-campus resources. EBLI Scholars are also asked to sign an oath pledging their commitment to complete their education and pay-it-forward.
The pipeline of students interested in pursuing higher education is cultivated in part via the AZHCC’s sponsorship of the Youth Entrepreneurs Academy, known as YEA!, which trains high schoolers to create their own small business and encourages them to pursue higher education.
Our goal is the creation of future business leaders.