Partnership for Economic Innovation Collaborates with City of Phoenix to Distribute Federal ARPA Funding to Families and Students in Need

Partnership for Economic Innovation Collaborates with City of Phoenix to Distribute Federal ARPA Funding to Families and Students in Need

The Connective, a PEI initiative, will partner with the City of Phoenix on the Family Assistance Resource and Workforce Wraparound Tuition/Apprentice programs

The Partnership for Economic Innovation (PEI) is partnering with the City of Phoenix to help distribute millions of dollars in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding through targeted programming to help those who need it most. The Phoenix City Council unanimously voted on December 15, 2021, to approve the new contract with PEI to provide administrative and customer support services for two new programs, the Family Assistance Resource and Workforce Wraparound Tuition/Apprentice programs.

 “PEI is equipped to help implement this program given its regional presence, current partnerships with private, public and educational institutions, and their focus on developing and deploying regional technology solutions to community challenges,” said Jeff Barton, City of Phoenix City Manager

The Connective, Greater Phoenix’s internationally acclaimed smart region consortium and an initiative of PEI, will act as the program manager for these initiatives, providing a streamlined way to give previously approved direct federal assistance to families in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Connective is looking forward to linking underserved communities to the financial tools and resources that will create a more inclusive economy,” said Dominic Papa, Co-Founder of PEI’s The Connective. “It is our objective to help Greater Phoenix communities solve challenges and innovate at regional scale, by developing and deploying scalable technology solutions rooted in connectivity, mobility, equity, and sustainability. These new City programs fit perfectly with our mission.”

Under the Family Assistance Resource (FAR) program, which the Council approved in September 2021, 1,000 families with children that meet specific criteria will be selected by a random lottery to receive a $1,000 monthly stipend for 12 months to support household expenses like childcare, groceries, rent, and utility bills. A second ARPA-funded program, the Workforce Wraparound Tuition/Apprentice Program, will also utilize PEI services this year.

The Connective is leveraging its membership with the City Possible network, a partnership model pioneered by Mastercard to address urban challenges and inequalities. The network has grown from 16 founding members in 2018 to more than 300 city members and candidate cities.

“As the pandemic continues to impact vulnerable communities at a disproportionate rate, creating an avenue to distribute direct financial assistance expediently is crucial,” said Miguel Gamiño, Executive Vice President, Enterprise Partnerships and Head of Global Cities and City Possible at Mastercard. “Mastercard is committed to collaborating with local governments to ensure digitally inclusive access, and we are proud to partner with PEI’s The Connective, a City Possible network member, to ensure federal relief dollars are disbursed efficiently and securely to Phoenicians.”

For the FAR and Workforce Wraparound Tuition/Apprentice programs, The Connective is providing participants reloadable debit cards, administrative support, and customer services in English and Spanish. Funds are loaded onto the debit cards each month starting this year. In-person debit card distribution and program informational events will be hosted by The Connective. The Connective will also explore opportunities to scale this solution to other Connective member communities across the region.

All requested funds allocated by the City Council will go directly to program participants. For more information on FAR, visit www.phoenix.gov/newsroom/city-manager/2108. To learn more about The Connective, visit www.greaterphoenixconnective.com.

ABOUT THE CONNECTIVE

The Connective, an initiative of the Partnership for Economic Innovation, is a public, private, university and community partnership created by PEI, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Maricopa Association of Governments, Arizona State University and the Institute for Digital Progress. Through a community-driven applied research model and intentional, unprecedented collaboration, the Connective seeks to empower Greater Phoenix communities to build the nation’s largest Smart Region, developing and deploying scalable technology solutions rooted in connectivity, mobility, equity, and sustainability.

 

ABOUT THE PARTNERSHIP FOR ECONOMIC INNOVATION
Partnership for Economic Innovation is a passionate collective of business and community leaders dedicated to accelerating Arizona’s economic opportunities. We believe innovators are problem solvers who come from anywhere, if they have access to pathways to do so — which is why PEI is investing in community-building technology and R&D designed to make Arizona more resilient and empower innovators to bring world-changing ideas to market. PEI initiatives include:

·       The Connective, Greater Phoenix’s internationally acclaimed Smart Region collaborative, convening cities, industries and entrepreneurs to lay the open innovation groundwork to solve regional challenges.

·       WearTech and Blockchain Applied Research Centers are accelerating the development of emerging technology products with the potential to radically transform healthcare, keep us safer and more secure.

·       Pipeline AZ, a career exploration platform creating more transparent pathways to advanced industry jobs and connecting Arizona workers to any training they might need to get there.

 

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