Citing the need to fill vacant jobs in rural Arizona, including over 2,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs outside of Maricopa and Pima Counties, Governor Doug Ducey today announced a new Rural Jobs Initiative. The initiative focuses on providing new funds for training programs at community colleges, aligning workforce training with industry needs in rural areas, and boosting tourism to state parks.
During this week’s State of the State Address, Governor Ducey said. “There’s no shortage of new jobs in Arizona — but many vital jobs remain unfilled in our rural communities. So we’ve got a plan — a Rural Jobs Initiative. First, tourism and state parks. There’s no place more beautiful to vacation than scenic Arizona. And with an infusion of new dollars, we’re going to work with Tourism Director Debbie Johnson to ensure the whole world knows it. Next, workforce. Small business is the backbone of our economy. So we’re launching a partnership with Local First Arizona to strengthen small businesses, get rural Arizonans back to work, and bolster our local economies.”
Investing In Rural Community Colleges
In addition to new flexible funding and funds targeted to career and technical education programs, Governor Ducey’s Executive Budget will include over $4 million to expand the Arizona Advanced Technology Corridor. The additional funding will help create a network of community colleges focused on promoting economic diversity and aligning workforce training to industry needs in rural areas.
Local First Partnership
Governor Ducey’s office will target additional dollars to better engage rural employers in the development of locally trained workforces. The innovative partnership, which is being administered by the Local First Arizona Foundation, follows a national model to get more people from rural areas into jobs being offered by small businesses.
Promoting Tourism In Rural Arizona
Governor Ducey’s Budget will add $1 million to expand rural tourism development efforts at the Arizona Office of Tourism. The Fiscal Year 2020 budget included $100,000 to promote rural tourism for Arizona’s local wine industry.