The University of Arizona, College of Agriculture

Economic Development and Quality of Life for People and Communities
PHASE Program Project for Homemakers in Arizona Seeking Employement


Unemployed single and/or displaced homemakers, and incarcerated women 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.

What has been done?

The PHASE program (The Project for Homemakers in Arizona Seeking Employment), begun in 1978 in Tucson, Arizona, assists women with job related scholarships and in job placement, including job-seeking skills. The Arizona State Department of Education has funded PHASE along with contributions from businesses and individuals. It is a joint effort between Pima Community College, which often trains the students for immediate employment, legislators who support the program, corporate and individual donors, and the School of Family and Consumer Resources in the College of Agriculture at the University of Arizona.


PHASE has assisted more than 6,000 single parents, displaced homemakers and incarcerated women in Pima County since 1978. About 15% of its clients continue their studies at the UA, and to date, these students have a 100% graduation success rate. It has become a national model for similar programs throughout the U.S. In 1999 the program assisted incarcerated women in particular, with job skills, nontraditional employment, and basic computer skills.

"If it wasn't for PHASE, I wouldn't be the person I am today." --Kim Turner, previously unemployed single mother of four who with help from PHASE completed her high school GED, an AA degree and a bachelor's degree from The University of Arizona. She recently secured a social service job in Tucson.

"The vast book knowledge and life skills the instructors have combined in the classes, and also the true commitment to helping and caring have made this workshop an inspiration to us inmates, as well as giving us a glimmer of hope and a new lease on life." incarcerated 1999 PHASE participant


Arizona State Department of Education, Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA)
Arizona Department of Transportation
Pima Community College
Local businesses
The University of Arizona


Patricia Helgeson, Program Coordinator
PHASE Program, The University of Arizona
1230 N. Park, #209, Tucson, AZ 85721
Tel.: (520) 621-3902 FAX: (520) 621-5008

This report is one of 29 impact statements submitted by the University of Arizona College of Agriculture to the USDA's 1999 CSREES Science and Education Impacts database in Washington, D.C. An impact statement is a brief summary, in lay terms, of the economic, environmental and/or social impact of a land-grant program. It states accomplishments and their payoff to society.
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