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Chambers Of Commerce Applaud Ducey’s “Arizona Back To Work” Plan

May 14, 2021

PHOENIX — Across the state, chambers of commerce are applauding Governor Doug Ducey’s decision that Arizona will no longer be taking the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, and instead will offer one-time bonuses to returning workers, along with child care support, educational opportunities and rental assistance.

The announcement follows reports from employers that they are having trouble competing with the federal government’s unemployment payments, which are paying individuals more to stay home and not work than to find a job.

Arizona will stop taking the federal government’s pandemic unemployment benefits effective Saturday, July 10. Instead, the state will offer a $2,000 Back To Work bonus for eligible workers — with a goal of getting as many Arizonans as possible to rejoin the workforce by Labor Day, September 6, 2021.

Arizona will also provide support for unemployed individuals seeking to upskill their careers with adult education programs as well as additional child care opportunities.

“In Arizona, we’re going to use federal money to encourage people to work…instead of paying people not to work,” Governor Ducey said in a video.

“With ample supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine on hand and millions of Arizonans vaccinated, people feel safer and are finally returning to life in Arizona as we knew and loved it before,” said Ducey. “People are back in the office, restaurants are at full capacity and tourists are flocking to our state.”

“There is dignity in work. Ronald Reagan said the best social program is a job. I agree with that,” Ducey said.

“We have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to ensure those who were displaced received the support they needed for themselves and their families,” said Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) Director Michael Wisehart. “Now that employers in all sectors are hiring, we’re ready to transition and enhance our assistance to families, job seekers and employers. We are committed to ensuring the long-term strength of Arizona’s economy to provide self-sufficiency for Arizona’s families.”

The Governor’s Back To Work program is garnering support from community and business leaders across the state:

“Governor Ducey is breaking down many of the barriers that prevent people from returning to work. Getting people funding for GED programs, community college, providing funding for childcare, and bonus money for their hard work is the hand up Arizonans need,” said Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Mignonne Hollis.

“After last week’s disappointing federal jobs report, Arizona is implementing a common-sense, conservative plan to ensure we continue our state’s strong economic rebound,” said Prescott Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Sheri Heiney.

“Across Arizona, restaurants of all sizes are ready to hire new employees and expand their teams,” said Arizona Restaurant Association President and CEO Steve Chucri. “When it comes to the food and beverage industry, things are much different than they were a year ago. Millions are vaccinated, we know how to keep patrons and staff safe, and people are ready to eat at restaurants again. Restaurants need to ensure they have enough staff to meet the demand, but many are struggling to fill positions. I’m grateful to Governor Ducey for encouraging Arizonans to find new employment opportunities so we can get our restaurants fully staffed and continue to move the state’s economy forward.”

“We’re excited to welcome new team members and provide great jobs for Arizonans,” said Westroc Hospitality President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Nassikas. “After weathering the pandemic, we know Arizonans are looking for employment opportunities. We’re ready to hire, along with countless other businesses across the state.”

“Arizona’s tourism and hospitality industry is poised and eager to welcome visitors,” said Arizona Tourism and Lodging Association President and CEO Kim Grace Sabow. We are prepared to offer safe and unique experiences to both leisure and business travelers. An array of quality jobs are available for those seeking a rewarding industry career path — and we’re ready to hire today!”

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