Phoenix Job Corps Center

Phoenix, AZ Students Take a Step towards Success at Job Fair

August 27th, 2018

The monthly Job Fair hosted by Phoenix Job Corps CTS on July 12, 2018 was a huge success with employers representing a variety of industries including Hacienda Healthcare, Arizona State Hospital, Arizona Department of Corrections, Superlite, Phoenix Police Department, UPS, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Consumer Advocacy Projects and Cracker Barrel.

Officer Joe Trujillo from Phoenix Police says his department is looking for students who are “self-motivated, patient, and determined.” Anyone who makes it into the Phoenix Police Academy earns $22.98 an hour during the 20-week training.

“The minimum standard is 20 ½ years old to take the test because you actually have to be 21 years old at the time of graduation,” explains Trujillo. “In order to enforce the liquor laws you have to be 21.”

After training, officers have the earning potential of $34.80 an hour which is topped out after seven years. However, officers can make more by climbing the ranks and getting promoted.

Once you become an officer, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be on the streets patrolling.

“If somebody gets on, there are over 80 different specialties within our department,” says Trujillo. “So, you just don’t have to be a uniformed patrol officer your whole career.”

Officer Trujillo graduated from Phoenix Job Corps in 1982 and has been on the Phoenix Police force for 26 years. He retires in four years. He highly recommends the profession to Phoenix Job Corps students.

Consumer Advocacy Projects provides services and support to those with a developmental disability.

“We’re looking for people who are really compassionate,” says Jessica Cowan, Administrative Director for Consumer Advocacy Projects. “Patience is also a big one for us.”

The company is also looking for employees with a good work ethic, attention to detail and who are interested in making sure clients are provided for.

“We have three different programs,” explains Cowan. “We have one that’s our group home program which is our biggest program. We provide the home, the staff, the furniture, the food, the vehicle, everything. So, then the staff just needs to go into the group home, make sure it’s clean, do the grocery shopping, help out with skill building and take the clients into the community.”

Consumer Advocacy Projects also has two adult day programs that are similar to a daycare where clients participate in arts, crafts, other activities and skill building.

“And then we also have what’s called home and community based services,” Cowan says. “That’s where the client lives on their own or they maybe live with their parent or something. We’ll just send the staff out to their home to provide companionship, personal hygiene assistance, and skill building – the biggest thing for us.”

The company is looking for all experience levels. “We can take even the most seasoned employees, teach them something new, get them out to our group homes or we can take someone who only has babysitting experience,” says Cowan.

“I’ve even seen people who are fresh out of high school. They’re not really sure what they want to do with a career. They get started with us and we’ll put them in one of our group homes. They get to work with clients and kind of figure out their career from there,” adding there are a lot of growth opportunities.

Employees usually start at $10.50 an hour but it depends on the group home. If it’s a more challenging home the pay will be higher. Group home managers and administrative staff make more. Cowan says the earning potential is limitless depending on the drive of the employees.

“We’ve seen people come in who’ve worked their tail off and they’ve been promoted in as little as 4 to 5 months,” says Cowan. “That can go up a few dollars an hour. It depends on what growth opportunities they’re looking for and whether they want more administrative or residential.”

The company is based in Phoenix but they have group homes and programs all over the valley.

By Melody Birkett, BCL