​United Way of Yavapai County


Jessi Hans, Executive Director of Coalition for Compassion and Justice (CCJ) receives United Way of Yavapai County funding and creates the Prescott Workers Progress Agency, a social enterprise and job training branch of CCJ. 

Just one year ago, United Way of Yavapai County (UWYC) brought together four agencies who agreed to meet the challenge of starting a new arm of their agency, a social enterprise branch, which would include a job training requirement.   UWYC created this opportunity, knowing these agencies would benefit in multiple ways from the income generating aspect, to assisting in sustainability, plus providing those receiving services, some current job training to assist with their employability.  We worked with these agencies for 12 months, with cohort meetings and guest instructors on developing a business plan, accessing additional training dollars available, and providing other examples of successful social enterprise programs.  The fruits of their labors are now monumental examples of how a nonprofit can create such a program.  We feel this funding has been very well utilized, CCJ is a shining example of success!  
UWYC Grant funds new Job Readiness Program in Prescott
United Way of Yavapai County and the Yavapai County Contractors Association have teamed up to create a pilot project which will provide basic job training and certifications for those entering the construction field.    Program participants will attend classes on construction basics taught by company owners.  The four week course will include topics such as labor, landscaping, pavers, concrete basics, and electrical training.  Skills testing will help track and compare individual student performance results.   The course includes basic OSHA and CPR certifications and drug screenings. Cerificates of completion will be awarded.  NACOG (Northern Arizona Council of Governments) will partner also to assist in job placement , additional funding support and retention.  Classes to begin in January.
Annette Olson of UWYC presents grant check to Sandy Griffis of the Yavapai County Contractors Association

What is Social Enterprise?

Many nonprofit organizations are social enterprises through and through:  they don't rely solely on grants and donations, but also on income through selling goods and services.  Social enterprises apply business solutions to social problems.  The ultimate goal is to acheive sustainability by enabling nonprofits to support themselves  financially in innovative ways instead of relying solely on grants and donations.
Social Enterprise Program at work...
Local Social Enterprise program enables agencies to offer employment hope

In an article featured on the front page of the Prescott Courier on April 17th, staff contributor Nanci Hudson writes in part:

"Brad Newman is not afraid to try anything.  His motivation: giving other people a chance.

Tapped as the local king of social enterprise, the executive director of Yavapai Exceptional Industries offered a recent pep talk to four other area nonprofit agencies selected by the United Way of Yavapai County to receive $10,000 grants to start their own social enterprise.

Newman said creating a business or product-sales niche for clients who are not conventional employment candidates can be a challenge. Yet he is equally clear that nothing is more rewarding than enabling people to savor the dignity of doing meaningful work that benefits them and their customers."...

..."The beauty of all these enterprises is that they provide meaningful employment and job training experience to YEI clients and some of the proceeds benefit the agency, said United Way Executive Director Annette Olson..."

Read the full Daily Courier article here

Social Enterprise Program Changing Lives in Prescott

CCJ Launches New WPA Program Throwback

With the help of a Social Enterprise Program grant through United Way of Yavapai County, this newest project will enable people who are otherwise unemployable get connected with meaningful work that may lead them to other income opportunities.

On May 1st, the Coalition for Compassion and Justice will launch a new job creation program, called the Workers Progress Agency (WPA).  This amazing program was inspired by a program with a similar acronym started in the late 1930s by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to give unskilled workers a chance at employment. The modern program is an effort to provide day-labor, minimum-wage work opportunities of six hours a week for up to eight people. The initial jobs will be oriented around park cleanup.  The tasks are intended to be suitable for those with limited skills, or who may have either a physical or mental disability such that they cannot handle the demands of a regular five-day, eight-hour work schedule. In time, the hope is that other local businesses or companies will consider hiring one of their crews for simple tasks, such as basic landscaping or building cleanupNow that is Living United!

Doubling hope...

For the first time, United Way of Yavapai County has conducted two grant opportunities within a one-year timeframe.  We felt this was a better way to meet the changing needs of our nonprofit organizations and those whom they serve.  The work of human services organizations is a dynamic, fluid and an ever-changing landscape.  United Way of Yavapai County decided this was a way to be more nimble and responsive to the needs of our community service organizations and their new and innovate programs.   Our previous grant cycle awards were announced in September 2017.  Our February 2018, program partners are as follows:  The American Red Cross who has partnered with People Who Care to create a unique new program called Sound the Alarm. Save a Life:  The American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign in Yavapai County.  This program teams with People Who Care to provide fire prevention services and strategies to the homebound who are receiving services from People Who Care’s programs.  We are supporting early childhood literacy with the Bagdad Core Program:  Family First Literacy; this program bringing the Imagination Library to families in the Bagdad and Hillside communities who have children age 5 and younger.  We are supporting the Yavapai Food Council to expand their services, reaching those experiencing food poverties in Peoples Valley and Kirkland.  We are also supporting Stepping Stones in launching a new services portal in Prescott, the Community Embedded Advocacy Center, which will be located in their existing thrift store on Goodwin Street.  For a complete list of United Way of Yavapai County supported programs, please see our “Program Partners.”

United Way of Yavapai County is also very excited to be supporting four new Social Enterprise Programs.  These grants of $10,000.00 each, will be allocated throughout the year to four organizations who applied and were awarded this seed money.  These select nonprofit partners will each forge a new revenue arm for their organizations.  These four agencies will construct programs that not only generate revenue, but at the same time, they train their clients with job readiness skills.  The four organizations will work together as a cohort, taking a series of organizational development classes through the United Way of Yavapai County Center for Nonprofit Excellence.  The program planning will begin in March; our agency partners in this venture are Coalition for Compassion and Justice, Steps to Recovery, the Yavapai Food Council, and The Launch Pad.  We are thrilled about this pilot project and feel this is an enterprising approach to meeting the workforce development needs in our community. 

Changing the life of a child...
An excerpt from a letter of thanks…
Dear Supporters of the Imagination Library,
 I love to watch my little one run and sit down, with his very own books, turning each page slowly, oblivious to anything else! This was a boy who couldn’t sit still or turn pages in the right direction, not too long ago.  He just wasn’t interested in reading.  This program is doing exactly as it was designed!  Having it mailed to our house makes it so special.  He can unwrap it himself, with an expectant happy smile!  We signed up last year.  That’s when his thinking changed about books.  Thanking you every time we take out one from his collection.   From JL, a Verde Valley Mom.  

February 14, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Raibourne, UWYC

Daniel Smith, Northern Arizona University Intern & Navy Seabee Afghanistan war veteran is our second author to be featured on our new Blog page. His Blog posts are an informative series and gives some insight in regards to our local homeless population!
Annette Olson, Executive Director of United Way of Yavapai County is the first author to be featured on our new Blog page. This first Blog post is about one of our Partner Agencies, their name is People Who Care!

This video gives an overview of the great work UWYC and some of its partners do!

Boys and Girls Clubs of Central AZ members thanking UWYC for funding support. This would not be possible without the contributions of UWYC DONORS!



Short video featuring 3 companies who support the United Way of Yavapai County. Freeport McMoRan is a major donor and many of its employees contribute via payroll deductions. Findlay Toyota was a sponsor of our 2017 Kickoff event. Target collected donations in its store and employees volunteered at our 2017 Day of Action. There are many more corporate partners and we would like to thank them all!

Peer Assistance & Learning is a program provided through Catholic Charities Community Services at Bagdad High School. The students thank United Way of Yavapai County for the grant it awarded to this program in 2017-18.  





Staff of Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters thank United Way of Yavapai County (and its donors) for recent grant funding!

Participating students: Rio Delgado, Hunter Gates, Bethany Loveall, Kyleigh Nations, Damion Tham, Kassie Estrada, Cole Chapin, Andrew Medina, Connor Pacheco, Devin Nelson, Quentin Martin, Kurtis Garcia, Michael Mendez, Isaiah Covey, Shane Covey, Austin Easterday,
Scotty Finnerty, and Tony Ventura.


Here are a few of the nonprofit agencies whose programs United Way of Yavapai County has funded recently.


The above video features the delivery of the new Tiny "Safe Sleeper" Cottage to Paul Mitchell at CCJ (Coalition for Compassion and Justice)!

 Bagdad FCCLA
Participating Staff: Culinary teacher Shaun Rose and Construction teacher Tom Rose. In association with Bagdad FCCLA.

Built and sponsored by the leaders and students of Bagdad High School.
They call themselves
"The Cottage Crafters" and their slogan is
"You're Invited to Live United!"


Participating Staff: Culinary teacher Shaun Rose and Construction teacher Tom Rose. In association with Bagdad FCCLA.