Dr. Sybil Francis, CEO of the Center for the Future of ArizonaPhoto byCenter for Arizona’s Future

Today, the Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) announces the selected fellows for its Southern Arizona Workforce Leadership Academy, a 10-month professional development program offered in partnership with Pima Community College and the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunity Program. Southern Arizona Academy is designed to improve local economic dynamism and workforce development efforts. Over the next year, the new fellows will strengthen their networks, increase their leadership, and create innovative solutions to challenges facing workers and businesses in Southern Arizona.

The workforce development system is a set of organizations and activities that prepare people for employment, help workers advance in their careers, and seek to build a skilled workforce to support employers and their local economies. Strengthening the workforce development system contributes to the development of quality jobs and the education and training needed to participate in a vibrant economy and develop meaningful careers. To this end, Workforce Leadership Academies are hosted in communities across the United States and Canada and bring together local leaders for an intensive series of shared learning and solution-building. The Southern Arizona Academy is the second workforce leadership academy offered in Arizona and is made possible by the Aspen Institute and the Thomas R. Brown Family Private Foundation.

“Strengthening workforce development contributes to creating a stronger and brighter future for Arizona. Developing and sustaining the equitable and robust economic growth that Arizonans want requires a high-capacity, responsive and adaptable workforce system,” said President Dr. Sybil Francis. and CEO of CFA. “The Academy program expands and strengthens the capacity of our local workforce leaders to address system-based challenges. We are pleased to partner with Pima Community College and the Aspen Institute to bring this important work to the Southern Arizona region.”

The 2023 Southern Arizona Workforce Leadership Academy Fellows were selected through a competitive application process and represent a range of nonprofit organizations, trade associations, higher education institutions, training institutions, and public agencies in the region. Friends are:

Nubert Boubeka, Founder and Board Member, Ambivium and American Red Cross, Southern AZ Chapter

Dr. Patty Diaz, Regional Director, Business and Academic Partnerships, Northern Arizona University

Ashley DickeyExecutive Director of Human Resources and Marketing, Benson Hospital

Daniel Duarte, Director Talent Management / WIB Board Development Chair, Hospitality Staffing Solutions / Pima County Workforce Investment Board

Susan Elliott, Specialist, Workforce Development, MHC Health Services

skyly step, Human Resources Manager of North America, Industrial Development Authority of the City of Sierra Vista

Manuel FelixFounder and CEO, AZ Cyber ‚Äč‚ÄčInitiative

Mary Flake, Regional Program Manager, State of Arizona, Department of Economic Security, Rehabilitation Services Administration

Kate Lemke, Workforce Development Administrator, Banner Health Plan

Emily McCarthy, Senior Director, Career Development, University of Arizona Student Engagement and Career Development

selena mcdonald, Workforce Development Administrator, Banner Health Plan

Carla Morales, Vice President, Arizona Technology Council,

Jessica Normoyle, Director, Operations, JobPath, Inc.

Rhonda Pina, Deputy Director, Workforce Development, Pima County Community and Workforce Development

Jorge Rivero, Project Director, Equus Workforce Solutions

Lisa Schlegel, Director, Business Development and Engagement, Pima Community College

genie runright, Director, Operations and Compliance Adult Basic Education for Colleges and Careers, Pima Community College

Demetri Simon, Chairman of the Board, Industrial Development Authority of the City of Sierra Vista

Jennifer Sumner, Executive Director, Program Management, Southwest Technical Education District of Yuma

Dr. Jordan Utley, Director, Education, Pima Medical Institute

Gladys Walker, Vice President, Human Resources, Leonardo Electronics

Southern Arizona Academy officially begins on April 18, 2023, and concludes with a collaborative capstone project presentation in December 2023. As a peer-learning community, the cohort will experience educational and networking opportunities to help them meet the challenges they face. Addresses changes in current workforce systems and technology, business standards and policy. These senior-level workforce fellows will work with leading practitioners across the country, learn about practical planning tools, and help reflect and develop effective strategies to strengthen local workforce systems.

“We at Pima Community College are honored to partner with the Center for Arizona’s Future and the Aspen Institute on this effort,” said Ian Roark, vice chancellor for workforce development and innovation at Pima Community College. “With the leadership and support of our Board and our Chancellor/CEO, Lee Lambert, Pima has become a national leader in workforce development and a key partner in the ecosystem. The Southern Arizona Workforce Leadership Academy will strengthen our shared work across organizations to strengthen and align key plans and projects, and our community. Help identify and develop the next generation of required workforce development leaders.

The Southern Arizona Academy will be led by CFA Workforce Development Director Holly Kurtz, CFA Workforce Development Project Manager Tenille Penaloza-Hagen, Pima Community College Dean of Workforce Development and Lifelong Learning Amanda Abens, and a local advisory council comprised of leaders from the Southern Region. Arizona Workforce System.

Additional information on Southern Arizona Academy, 2023 Fellows, and local advisory councils is available at arizonafuture.org/sawla.

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