May 2019

Friends of DES,
The Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) is an expansive human services organization, which provides more than 40 different programs and services to every corner of the state. With a network of this scale, there are multiple opportunities to highlight the ways in which DES is transforming lives through support, collaboration and opportunity.

Over this past quarter, a wealth of awareness months has shined a spotlight on the accomplishments of those we serve with the support of our community partners. Features in this edition of the DES Newsletter include:

If it weren’t for the over 7,600 passionate men and women at DES, and the countless organizations with which we work with in our communities, we would not be able to make the extraordinary impact that shapes the future of Arizona and its families.

Thank you for working with us to create a better tomorrow by providing support today.
Michael Trailor
March was Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and throughout, we celebrated the people with disabilities we have the honor of supporting. The members of the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) are talented and brave individuals whom we provide services and supports to help them reach their potential.
The Sky's the Limit

Ever wish you could escape your daily boundaries or limitations to let your spirit soar, if only for a few minutes? That’s exactly what Jay Smith did. Twice.
Member's Passion to Thrive Leads to New Home in Arizona

Ten years ago, the Kenney family had a decision to make. Their son, Grant, who has cerebral palsy, would soon age out of high school.
Molding Possibilities and Personal Solace

A member of DDD since age 6, Efrain and his mother, Angelina, have worked tirelessly to improve Efrain's skills, both in his art and in managing the symptoms of Autism.
Believe Beyond Ability: Derby Day

Believe Beyond Ability is a non-profit agency that evaluates, determines, provides and trains those with multiple disabilities on assistive technology. Now in its fifth year, "Derby Day" allows children with developmental disabilities to drive and race specially accommodated Power Wheels.
Be sure to check out the other #DDawareness19 stories we shared
on Facebook and Twitter .
National Social Work Month
March is National Social Work Month and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. The intersection of social work and the needs of a community are demonstrated by the work performed by employees of the DES Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD).

We are grateful for the passion and dedication exhibited by our social workers and would like to highlight a small sample of the exceptional team we have working within this community.

Click on the profiles below to learn about each social worker.
Brain Injury Awareness Month

In recognition of Brain Injury Awareness Month, DES and the Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona hosted its annual Art in the Atrium event on March 20. The DES Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program supports Arizonans with brain injuries in completing their educational and employment goals to achieve self-sufficiency.
In realizing  Governor Doug Ducey 's goal to provide a #RealSecondChance  to returning citizens, DES and the  Arizona Department of Corrections  launched the reentry program to help those who are incarcerated enter the workforce upon release.
Arizona Second Chance Inmate Reentry Program
Given National Recognition

On March 6, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) awarded DES the prestigious Pinnacle for Workforce Development Award during the 2019 Winter Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. This award is in recognition of the Second Chance Center initiative, which helps inmates nearing release prepare to re-enter the workforce and reduce the chance of reoffending.
Second Chance Reentry Services Expand to Youth

In 2017, Governor Ducey launched Second Chance Centers designed to reduce recidivism by preparing inmates with pre-release reentry and workforce services. After two years of success, reentry efforts were expanded to include youth incarcerated by the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections. For this life-changing project, DES's Regina Weiler was recognized with the Outstanding Government Partner Award.
Second Chance Centers Celebrate Two-Year Anniversary

On March 27, 2017, the Department of Economic Security and Department of Corrections opened the first Second Chance Center with one goal in mind: to provide workforce readiness services to inmates within 60 days of release.
Want to learn more about the Second Chance Initiative?
Check out our website .
DES, APS Announce Partnership for Discount Energy Program 

On March 5, DES and Arizona Public Service (APS) announced their partnership to connect lower income families to a discount rate program provided by the electricity company. The APS Energy Support Program provides a 25% discount to households at or below 150% of the federal poverty level.
Helping Others Reach Their Potential
Child Support Caseworker Recognized for Going Beyond
A father of five with three ongoing child support cases knows a thing or two about child support. Ija Morris had many connections with customer service representatives over the years, but one caseworker stood out.
ARIZONA@WORK Connects Veteran to Employment Toolkit
Veteran Michael Nunez has struggled with homelessness, unemployment and PTSD. But his recent experience with ARIZONA@WORK was able to land him a job and attain the benefits he needs to be successful. 
It's Not Just a Job, It's a Passion
Born with congenital bilateral hearing loss, Kristen Mackey had to learn to prove herself starting at a young age. Now the administrator for Rehabilitation Services, she advocates for individuals with disabilities to have equal employment opportunities.
As the mother of a daughter with Turner Syndrome, Business Operations Specialist Laila Stene, does everything she can to make sure staff within the DES Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) get all the tools they need to best serve members and their families.