Announcing the UA Institute for Career Readiness and Engagement



I'm writing to announce a major development in our 100% Student Engagement initiative: the creation of the University of Arizona Institute for Career Readiness and Engagement.

This institute, which will allow us to connect our student with experiences and employers like never before, is possible thanks to the Office of the Governor, which selected the UA to receive funding through the Workforce Development Grant program.

It's an important endorsement of our 100% Student Engagement initiative, which we announced just a year ago with the promise that every student would have an opportunity to gain real-world, hands-on experience in their chosen field before they graduate.

The institute will help them to do that through its three focuses:

Enhancing employer outreach/engagement initiatives in Maricopa County by hiring a Director of Employer Initiatives for Career Services.

To complement the efforts already in place in Southern Arizona, the person in this new position will be developing relationships with community leaders and key employers in Maricopa County with a goal of building opportunities for internships and other career-related experiences.

Expanding early career coaching programs to give students a head start on developing job market insight and career plans.

We want to get students thinking about their career plans as early as possible. That's why we work with students to help them identify their areas of interest and then use that information to match them with potential career paths.

With this grant, we'll be able to reach even more freshmen to ensure that they're imagining future engagement opportunities from the minute they step on campus.

Diversifying student workforce preparedness by enhancing our Internship Readiness Program.

A few years ago, employers came to us with their ideas for better preparing students to work in internships. What came out of that conversation was the Internship Readiness Program, which has been a great success since it was launched about two years.

During an eight-week series, this program coaches sophomores and juniors on every aspect of securing an internship, from identifying opportunities and overcoming hurdles when networking, to polishing their resumes and shoring up their interview skills.

The Workforce Development Grant will allow us to expand this effort so that more students are able to participate.

I'd like to recognize Eileen McGarry, Executive Director of Career Services and Student Engagement, and Kim Sabow, Assistant Vice President for State Relations, for all the work they did to translate the vision of the Institute for Career Readiness and Engagement into a solid plan.

Because of their efforts and the support from the governor's office, the UA will be able to pursue a unique approach to connecting students with future careers. We're going to be proactive in working with employers to build a talent base that answers their future workforce needs and we're going to give students the skills and experience they need to get jobs right here in Arizona. 



Ann Weaver Hart
The University of Arizona