Preparing the Workforce for Tomorrow

Aug. 27, 2021
| by:
Councilmember Matt Orlando

Chandler is a city that embraces global technologies, implements sustainable solutions and pilots innovative ideas. This practice has dubbed the City the Community of Innovation and attracts companies and residents from all over the world to call Chandler home. As a Councilmember, I recognize the importance of providing infrastructure and services that will support current and future companies and technologies, and this includes a prepared and educated workforce. 

The City of Chandler is committed to preparing the workforce of tomorrow through a variety of partnerships and programs. From early literacy initiatives to regional workforce coalitions, we aim to provide workforce development at every level. I’m personally involved in ReadOn Chandler, which is a collaborative literacy project made up of community organizations and businesses committed to ensuring that pre-school children obtain the necessary literacy skills for school readiness.  I want to thank Councilmember Ellis for co-sponsoring this budget amendment to provide additional funding to ReadOn Chandler. Here are just a few of our successes from our partnership with ReadOn Chandler and several of our non-profit organizations:

  • In January, ReadOn was given 1,500 books as a donation from the Molina Family Foundation. The books ranged from adult to children and were given out at all four Chandler Public Libraries. The largest portion was put into Grab and Go bags for children ages 0-5. Working with some of our local nonprofit organizations, we distributed 150 Grab and Go bags to our high-risk population kids.

  • We hosted virtual storytime with a planned activity for at-risk kids and their families for a total of seven weeks.

  • We completed two Ready, Set, Kindergarten sessions at one of our non–profit organizations. Ready, Set, Kindergarten is a seven-week school readiness program for 4- and 5-year-olds preparing to enter kindergarten.

  • Additional Ready, Set, Kindergarten sessions are planned for later this year, as well we are working with ReadOn AZ on a new initiative to expand Ready, Set, Kindergarten sessions at three of our elementary schools.

Also, the funding from the American Rescue Plan Act allowed our City to distribute an additional $335K to numerous early childhood learning and educational programs to non-profits like AZCEND, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley, Chandler Cultural Foundation, East Valley Jewish Community Center, ICAN, Junior Achievement of Arizona, The Salvation Army, Si Se Puede Foundation and the Chandler Family YMCA.

I am a firm believer that early education has a positive long-term effect. I am proud that the City supports programs like this, and I will continue to work with City staff to expand our early reading and education programs this fall by contacting other community organizations and schools to participate in this critical step in a child’s development.

Chandler is the premier location for cutting-edge technologies. The City Council and I are dedicated to providing resources and leveraging partnerships to create a workforce to support our future growth and quality of life.