Following the classroom portion of their training, WHAT Program participants continue with 90-days of on-site training (photo courtesy of St. Joseph The Worker).

A new program is aiming to bridge the gap between Valley job seekers and career opportunities, providing a pathway to stability and self-sufficiency through quality employment and off government assistance.

Phoenix-based nonprofit, St. Joseph the Worker (SJW), has launched a new free program called the Workforce Housing and Training Program (WHAT). The120-day program begins with two weeks of hands-on classroom training, after which graduates can start working and receive their first paycheck within the first month. For the next 90 days, participants follow SJW’s Workforce Villages transitional housing model, which provides free housing along with classes on personal finance and how to budget for food, teaching participants how to keep their cost per meal under $5.

Although some trade professions provide onsite training, WHAT aims to equip participants with essential soft skills and knowledge needed to excel in their roles from day one.

Funding for the project was made possible by Arizona Housing Coalition’s Capacity Building for Nonprofit Organizations — Innovations for Impact Grant (, which is designed to increase the capacity of nonprofit organizations working within Arizona to address housing instability and homelessness.

The Workforce Training Program is currently accepting applications for its upcoming session, which begins May 7. The program is open to individuals aged 18 and older, from varied backgrounds. Applicants must have reliable transportation and no open evictions or violent felonies. Learn more at or call 602-755-JOBS for assistance.


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