Project for Homemakers in Arizona Seeking Employment (PHASE)

Society-Ready Graduates
Research Year: 

Unemployed single and/or displaced homemakers and women who have been incarcerated often don't know where to begin in finishing their education, finding a job, and building a career in general. As welfare eligibility tightens, there is a greater need than ever before for strategies to assist people in moving from welfare to work.

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; basic computer skills classes; assistance with education/training; and job placement.

In 2001 PHASE began working cooperatively with Tucson Medical Center's LEAP program to help long-term welfare recipients enter the workforce. PHASE provides the first two days of preparation for the participants


Federal and local funders have recognized the importance of this program, which has a 95 percent training and/or job placement rate. PHASE has assisted more than 6,000 single parents, displaced homemakers and incarcerated women in Pima County since 1978. The program has recently expanded to include men. 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; The Women's Foundation of Southern Arizona; The Stocker Foundation; Community Foundation for Southern Arizona; School of Family and Consumer Sciences, UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; The West; La Paz Foundation; Resource Exchange; Community donors

Conact Name: 
Diane Wilson
Contact E-mail: 
Contact Address: 

The University of Arizona

1230 N. Park, #209

Tucson, AZ 85721 Tel.: (520) 621-3902, Fax: (520) 621-5008