Valley Interfaith Project: Economic Development Agenda
Valley Interfaith Project (VIP) believes that investments in human development are necessary for economic recovery. VIP is developing strategies on the following issues:
High-Skill, High-Wage Workforce Training Strategy: Arizona Career Pathways Initiative
- In partnership of the Maricopa Community College District, VIP launched Arizona Career Pathways as a long-term, high-skill job training strategy for Metro Phoenix to address the dual need of employers to find skilled workers and for Phoenix families to enter into good jobs with benefits and a career path. Forty students are currently enrolled through a Department of Labor training grant for allied health careers, with additional support from the Valley of the Sun United Way and the BHHS Legacy Foundation.
- VIP seeks additional resources to enroll more participants and broaden career offerings for Arizona Career Pathways.
Affordable Health Care
- VIP believes that the state’s AHCCCS and Kids Care programs should be funded at a level that protects the most vulnerable members of our population. VIP supports the state’s full participation in Medicaid expansion, which would allow an additional 300,000 low-income Arizonans to access health care. VIP will also advocate for strong insurance rate review and consumer protection standards for health insurance.
Stemming the Tide of Housing Foreclosures
- VIP will work with the AZ Department of Housing, local governments and other partners to press for real assistance to families with troubled mortgages, to stabilize affected families and neighborhoods.
- VIP will train neighborhood leaders in the skills of public engagement to work with police and city officials to address crime, neighborhood development and issues facing youth and the elderly in our neighborhoods.
- VIP is organizing to expand city after-school programs, increase library hours, and create more access to summer recreation programs and swimming pools. Many of these programs were victims to recent budget cuts.
Quality Education for Children and Youth
- A quality education, from preschool to college, is necessary if our children are to be successful citizens and workers in the 21st Century. VIP supports increased budgetary investments in education across the preschool to college spectrum which will give our students the chance to lead and compete in a global economy.
- VIP will continue to work in local school districts on the Alliance School Leadership Training Initiative, to increase the engagement of parents and community members in the education of our children.
Immigrant Integration and Necessary Reform
- There is widespread agreement that the immigration system is broken. While VIP seeks a bipartisan, comprehensive federal solution to fix U.S. immigration policy, VIP will continue to stand against local nativist attacks on families. VIP is a signatory to the SANE Resolution for Immigration Reform and the Arizona Accord.
- VIP supports the DREAM Act, which would allow immigrant children who grew up as Americans the chance to give back to America, the country they call home. VIP will assist eligible young people to understand and to apply for deferred action, under the terms of the recent announcement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.