Thanks to a generous $245,000 grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, a training program is being offered to veterans and their spouses, in partnership with the Maricopa Corporate College at Rio Salado College and GateWay Community College (GWCC). The program, which is completely free, includes a guaranteed interview with local companies upon successful completion.

Launched in spring 2019, the goal of this program is to help veterans and their spouses find gainful employment in four high-demand career fields, offering a promising horizon for job seekers with convenience and ease.   These include: Computer Support Technician, Phlebotomy Technician, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Electrician Worker Level 2.  Additionally, the program will work with the City of Phoenix to leverage the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and with Arizona@Work.   Eventually, the program will be integrated within the Maricopa County Community College District’s (MCCCD) Workforce Development Department.

“This grant will allow veteran students and their spouses the resources to obtain technical skills training for middle-skills jobs in high-demand sectors,” said Patricia O’Brien, Chief Operating Officer Maricopa Corporate College. “The program will tap into developed curriculum and will provide both MCCCD staff and student training, outreach to veteran families, placement into apprenticeships, internships and jobs with certifications and on-going support, during the program and after job placement.”

 “In a short time, I’ve already started to learn things that I didn’t know,” said Phil, a student in the Electrical Technician Program. “This is a very exciting opportunity that I would have otherwise never been able to participate in, had it not been for this grant.” Jose, another student in the program added, “I think this program is going to open many doors for me and will provide better opportunities.  I know this is going to be a great career and eventually, I plan on opening my own business.”

To date, 35 certificates have been earned, in the areas of Computer Support and Phlebotomy at the Maricopa Corporate College. The first hiring event included representatives from Rio Salado College, Cognizent, TEK Systems, Honor Health and Dignity Health, which resulted in more than 55 interviews in just these two fields. And at GWCC, more than 25 students are being served in the Electrical Technician and EMT programs. 

“This amazing class will no doubt be a great stepping stone for me to find work,” said one student. “Instead of needing to rely on Social Security Disability to get me to retirement, I am preparing for a wonderful career doing something that I love. I am very happy with my new job training.“terans with transition services.