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Arizona Autism Charter Schools network to open Entrepreneurial Training Center

The Arizona Autism Charter Schools (AZACS) network will open a new Entrepreneurial Training Center on June 18 in Phoenix.

Diana Diaz-Harrison is the network’s founder. She said the center will offer job and career-readiness programs for 18- to 22-year-old high school students, as well as adults on the autism spectrum who are entering the workforce.

“The training center is going to include four social enterprise businesses that will be community facing," she said.

Those businesses will be student-led and include a coffee shop, a silk screening store, a shipping and receiving store, and a tech repair and coding design studio.

Diaz-Harrison said it will start out like an unpaid internship for students to gain skills, then turn into a way for them to make money.

Funding for the new facility was acquired in partnership with Charter Schools Development Corporation (CSDC).

AZACS will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony 9 a.m. June 18 at 1430 E. Indian School Road in Phoenix. 

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Senior field correspondent Bridget Dowd has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.