PHASE Program: Project for Homemakers in Arizona Seeking Employment

Society-Ready Graduates
Research Year: 

Women with barriers to employment include single parents, displaced homemakers, incarcerated and offender women, and women with substance abuse issues. They often don't know where to begin in finishing their education, finding a job, and building a career in general. As the economy continues to tighten, there is a greater need than ever before for strategies to assist people in moving from government dependency to self-sufficiency.

Description of Action: 

The PHASE program (The Project for Homemakers in Arizona Seeking Employment) began in 1978 to assist low income women with their job search. The program has expanded and now provides career assessment; job search and nontraditional employment workshops; pre-apprenticeship training in highway construction; classes in basic and advanced computer skills and keyboarding; assistance with education/training; and job placement.


Federal and local funders have recognized the importance of this program, which has an 87 percent training and/or job placement rate. PHASE has assisted more than 7,500 women in Pima County since 1978. The program has recently expanded to include men who now comprise about 15 percent of the total number of clients served. About 15 percent of its clients continue their studies at the UA, and to date, these students have a 100 percent graduation success rate. It has become a national model for similar programs throughout the U.S.

"Within weeks of becoming a widow, I was meeting regularly with the PHASE director. I learned that skills I had developed as a homemaker and a community volunteer translated into employability. In October I completed the PHASE Basic Computer Skills Class. In January I became employed at the University of Arizona. Without the support and training I have been given from PHASE, I would still be stumbling along feeling very sorry for myself." –PHASE graduate.

Funding Agencies: 

Pima County Community Services, Arizona Department of Transportation
Arizona Department of Education, Pima County Juvenile Justice Court
Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, School of Family and Consumer Sciences, UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, The West, Resource Exchange, Community donors

Conact Name: 
Julie Castro
Contact E-mail: 
Contact Address: 

PHASE Program

The University of Arizona

1230 N. Park, #209

Tucson, AZ 85721

Tel.: (520) 621-3902, Fax: (520) 621-5008