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Maricopa County workforce training program targets Gila Bend, Queen Creek, Wickenburg

Career seekers in rural Maricopa County will have a new option in the new year. The Board of Supervisors approved a new pilot program called Workforce 2 You.

The one-year program focused on high-demand industries, including construction, health care, information technology, manufacturing and transportation. Accelerated training programs will last 4-12 weeks for people in Gila Bend, Queen Creek and Wickenburg. 

Jacqueline Edwards, the county’s human services director, said they work closely with the communities and employers.

“For example, Wickenburg has a very high need for the health-care industry. They have a thriving health-care industry and employers within Wickenburg, and they did not have enough staff to be able to fill those positions," Edwards said.

She expects about 90 participants among the three communities. 

“If they have a need for child care or [to] connect them with other services that the department has, such as utility assistance, we’re able to provide that wraparound support services for the individuals that will continue up to 12 months after their program completion,” Edwards said.

Workforce 2 You is geared toward young people, veterans and others most in need of workforce services. The country received a $500,000 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Grant provided by the Governor’s Office. Training should begin early in 2024.

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As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.