PHASE Program: Project for Homemakers in Arizona Seeking Employment

Support Increased Economic Opportunities and Improved Quality of Life in Rural America
Research Year: 
2005
Issue: 

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 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 and retention assistance.

Impact: 

Federal and local funders have recognized the importance of this program, which has an 84 percent training and/or job placement rate. It has become a national model for similar programs throughout the U.S. PHASE has assisted more than 9,500 women in Pima County since 1978. Men comprise about seven percent of the total number of clients served.

Legislation enacted five years ago has allowed PHASE to add other special populations including incarcerated women and female ex-offenders. PHASE staff actually go into the local Southern Arizona Correctional Release Center (SACRC) and the Pima County Jail to provide job readiness skills to those women who are within 30 to 60 days of being released. Based on a year’s follow-up, there is less than an eight percent recidivism rate for female offenders in the program.

“…you understand that people make mistakes…thank you for your time you invested, trust me you did not waste it; I learned something every day.” –Participant, PHASE Pima County Jail Job Search Workshop

“Workshop was very helpful to me. I’m glad to learn this service was available for individuals who need this type of computer skills. Just seeing a flyer at One-Stop, I’ve brushed up on my computer skills. All who came and gave us information were good and informative.” –Participant, PHASE Computer Skills Workshop

Funding Agencies: 

Pima County Community Services (Workforce Investment Act dollars); U.S. Department of Labor; Prisoner Re-entry Initiative; Arizona Department of Education; Arizona Governor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families, Women’s Division; 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: 

The University of Arizona

1230 N. Park, #209

Tucson, AZ 85721

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