May 13, 2021

Governor Ducey Announces “Arizona Back to Work” Program

This morning, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced that Arizona will no longer be taking federal money for supplemental unemployment benefits, and instead will offer one-time bonuses to returning workers, along with child care support, educational opportunities and rental assistance. 

With this new program, Arizona will stop taking the federal government’s pandemic unemployment benefits effective Saturday, July 10. Arizona will also provide support for unemployed individuals seeking to upskill their careers with adult education programs as well as additional child care opportunities.

Arizona 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. The bonus will be awarded when the individual has left the unemployment insurance program and completed at least 10 weeks of work with an employer, and be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. The individual must also make $25 per hour or less, equivalent to a yearly salary of $52,000, at their new job and must begin working by September 6, 2021.

The State will also provide $7.5 million for community college scholarships for currently unemployed workers who are eligible for the Return-to-Work bonuses — as well as $6 million for GED test preparation and exam fees for eligible workers without a high school diploma.

Additionally, the State will provide three months of child care assistance for individuals with children who return to work after collecting unemployment benefits. To be eligible, an individual must have already filed for unemployment benefits and earn $25 per hour, equivalent to a yearly salary of $52,000, or less at their new job. 

More in-depth information on the Arizona “Back to Work” program, can be found HERE. For questions, contact Western Growers’ Arizona Government Affairs Manager Robert Medler at [email protected] or (949) 308-5658.