Last week Tucson’s City Manager proposed a budget that drastically cuts human services and eliminates workforce development funding, including funding for YWorks, the signature economic empowerment program here at the YW.
As I’ve been meeting with City leaders, it’s clear they do not want to cut programs like these. I appreciate their support and the measured approach they are taking to budget deliberations. They want to pass a budget that is both morally and fiscally responsible.
It’s not hard to see how funding services for low-income people is the morally right thing to do, given the high rate of poverty in Tucson and across Southern Arizona. But it’s important to note that funding these programs is also fiscally responsible.
Every dollar the City spends to put people to work, through programs like YWorks, has an almost immediate return on investment that benefits all Tucsonans. In fact, not funding programs like these, that have a proven track record of putting people to work, would be fiscally irresponsible. More people working means:
- More dollars people have to spend in local businesses.
- More sales tax revenue to the City.
- Fewer dollars needed for social services and law enforcement.
Workforce development programs more than pay for themselves. Instead of cutting them, we’d like to see the City actually expand its investment in programs with a proven track record.
If you’re so inclined, I’d encourage you to let our City leaders know you support them as they work to develop a budget that is both morally and fiscally responsible this year.
We spend just $250 per person and serve about 1900 people each year through all the programs that fall under the YWorks umbrella. About a quarter of the funding we get for YWorks has come from the City of Tucson for the past several years. And the return on that investment is huge – more women with jobs, more families moving toward economic self-sufficiency, more dollars being spent in local business and raised in sales tax revenue for the City, fewer people relying on social services. This year we’ve applied for a $120,000 grant. It would be devastating to the program, to women & their families, and to the City itself if those funds were cut. A fact sheet showing the economic impact of YWorks is pasted below.
Thanks for your support.