Arizona Second Chance Inmate Reentry Program Given National Recognition

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Michelle Marshel, Director, Meetings & Communications
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WASHINGTON – Yesterday at the National Association of State Workforce Agencies’ (NASWA) 2019 Winter Policy Forum in Washington, D.C., Arizona’s Department of Economic Security received the prestigious Pinnacle for Workforce Development Award presented by NASWA’s Employment and Training Committee. This award is bestowed upon a state demonstrating excellence and innovation in the area of workforce development.

The Arizona Department of Economic Security began a partnership with the Arizona Department of Corrections in 2017 to connect individuals with criminal backgrounds to employment. This partnership, the State's Second Chance Center (SCC), helps inmates who are within 60 days of release prepare to re-enter the workforce through an intensive eight-week training and education program led by employment counselors. To date, approximately 2,000 participants have graduated from the program, and many have successfully obtained gainful employment. SCC also assists ex-offenders with job retention.

“Arizona’s SCC program effectively connects soon-to-be-released offenders and ex-offenders with resources, helping them live successful, crime-free lives,” said Scott B. Sanders, Executive Director of NASWA. “Giving ex-offenders the opportunity to become gainfully employed and providing them with the tools they need to maintain and advance in their employment enables them to sustain themselves and their families and become life-long positive contributors to society.”

“At DES, we are honored to support Governor Ducey’s Real Second Chance Initiative to reduce recidivism by providing returning citizens with pre and post-release employment services, so they can be successful in Arizona’s workforce. Our reentry staff not only provides inmates with holistic solutions to remove barriers that may impede successful reentry but also gives them confidence and wholehearted support,” said Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) Director Michael Trailor. “I am very proud to see them recognized for their outstanding work that is truly changing the lives of these individuals.”

For more information about NASWA’s Winter Policy Forum, visit and for more information about NASWA’s Employment and Training Committee, visit

(Pictured L to R are Chevera Trillo, Arizona Department of Economic Security; and Jon S. Pierpont, NASWA Board President and Executive Director of the Utah Department of Workforce Services)

See Arizona's Second Chance Center Workforce Innovation Award submission.



About the National Association of State Workforce Agencies ( NASWA is the national organization representing all 50 state workforce agencies, District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. These agencies deliver training, employment, career, business, and wage and hour services, in addition to administering unemployment insurance, veteran reemployment, and labor market information programs. NASWA provides policy expertise, shares promising state practices, and promotes state innovation and leadership in workforce development.