Southern Arizona Workforce Leadership Academy, Class of 2023

The Southern Arizona Workforce Leadership Academy — launched in partnership by Center for the Future of Arizona, Pima Community College, and the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program — brings leaders from across the Southern Arizona workforce ecosystem together for a year-long series of retreats, workshops, and action learning projects. The Academy provides a forum for local leaders to work collaboratively to identify local and regional systems-based challenges and create shared solutions for economic opportunity for all. Fellows work with leading practitioners throughout the country as they deepen networks; strengthen systems leadership skills; apply race, equity, and systems change frameworks to their work; and increase understanding of effective strategies and programs.

“We are pleased to partner with Pima Community College and the Aspen Institute to bring the Workforce Leadership Academy to the Southern Arizona area. A high-capacity, responsive, and adaptable workforce system is essential to developing and sustaining the equitable and strong economic growth that Arizonans want. The Academy program expands and strengthens the capacity of our local workforce leaders to address system-based challenges.” — Dr. Sybil Francis, President and CEO, Center for the Future of Arizona

“We at Pima Community College are honored to partner with Center for the Future of Arizona and the Aspen Institute in this endeavor. With the leadership and support of our Board and our Chancellor/CEO, Lee Lambert, Pima has become a national leader in workforce development and a key partner in the ecosystem. The Southern Arizona Workforce Leadership Academy will bolster our common work across organizations in strengthening and aligning key plans and projects and help us identify and develop the next generation of workforce development leaders our community needs.” — Ian Roark, Vice Chancellor of Workforce Development and Innovation, Pima Community College

The Southern Arizona Workforce Leadership Academy is one of eight local academies launched in 2023. Alumni of the Academy become part of the Aspen Institute’s Economic Opportunity Fellows Network, joining Fellows from fourteen previous Academies in eleven cities in the US and Canada.