Project ARRIBA’s mission is ambitious. Project ARRIBA works with individuals to break the cycle of poverty by helping them earn degrees and start working in high demand good wage careers. We all know that when the choice is between investing in education or taking care of family members and keeping food on the table, that the urgency of day-to-day life puts education dreams on hold. The longer dreams are put on hold, the less likely it is that they will ever be achieved. This is where Project ARRIBA comes in. It comes alongside people who are out of options and it opens the door to a new, hope-filled future. Project ARRIBA provides tuition assistance and day care, helps cover education expenses like books and testing, and devotes precious case management assistance to help the students to navigate this very challenging but rewarding path. Graduation with an in demand degree is the initial goal and is the launching point to a high demand good wage career. In the end, lives are transformed because program participants complete a rigorous academic program, graduate and start working in rewarding careers that bring them and their families out of poverty.
I want to thank our corporate partners and community organizing entities (EPISO and Border Interfaith) who had the vision of creating a program that focuses on helping individuals succeed and creating opportunities for employers who need highly qualified employees. Additionally, I want to extend my warm appreciation to the long serving, dedicated Project ARRIBA employees who have invested their lives into the lives of the people we serve. Project ARRIBA relies on the generous support of investors, community organizations, corporate partners, and state and local governments. Please consider partnering with Project ARRIBA as it begins the new decade with a steadfast focus of bringing hope to people with big dreams.
Justin Chapman Chairman of the Project ARRIBA Board
I greet all the friends and supporters of Project ARRIBA on behalf of the El Paso Interreligious Sponsoring Organization/Border Interfaith (EPISO/BI). EPISO/BI is a local network of parish and religious communities who are committed to implementing shared social justice traditions. The core of these traditions rests on our belief in the God-given dignity of the human person. Our overall agenda is focused on those issues that threaten this dignity, particularly poverty and its structural causes.
EPISO/BI is part of the broader network of the Texas IAF (Industrial Areas Foundation). All of the affiliates that make up the Texas IAF are multi-issue community organizing communities of faith. Our common goal is to enhance the quality of life of everyone in our cities by lending a helping hand to those at the bottom of the economic ladder.
In the mid-1990’s, El Paso County was dealing with high rates of unemployment and poverty. In that period, EPISO proposed a unique model of economic development to our business leaders and elected officials. The goal of our model was to lift El Pasoans out of poverty through a program of short-term, high-skill job training that would result in living-wage employment with benefits. The model required a combination of public and private investment to support the costs of the program related to books, tuition, child care and other needs.
Having been officially launched in November of 1997, Project ARRIBA now stands on the threshold of its fourth decade as the 2020’s begin. Thanks to the investments of the City of El Paso, County of El Paso, State of Texas, the federal government and numerous foundations and donors, Project ARRIBA has lifted 1,471 El Pasoans out of poverty! While this is a considerable achievement on the part of our Participants and Staff, much work remains to be done. The local poverty rate remains above 20%. This means that up to 180,000 El Pasoans live at or below poverty. There are two ways we need to ponder this statistic. One is to place ourselves into the shoes of those who struggle with the reality of poverty on a daily basis and share in their aspirations for a better life. Second, is to imagine all those households, not in poverty, but rather, supported by living wage workers!
This decade could be a new ‘roaring twenties’ for our city and county if we remain committed to the elimination of poverty. Through your support of Project ARRIBA’s mission, we can continue to create a living-wage economy that benefits every family in our region.
May God bless you!
Rev. Dr. Ed Roden-Lucero Vice-Chair of the Project ARRIBA Board
I am so thrilled to show you our 2019 ONLINE ANNUAL REPORT!
At Project ARRIBA our aim is to impact El Paso with a talented workforce that meets our employer’s needs.This is why our annual report this year can be found at impactelpaso.com!
Each year our T.E.A.M. works with so much passion to see people succeed with their post-secondary education.2019 was Project ARRIBA's 20th anniversary of helping make the “915” shine!In 1999, we opened our doors as a workforce intermediary that invests in human capital to improve the lives of low-income El Pasoans, meet employer demands, and build the local community. All these years later, we continue to be employer driven, regionally focused and participant centric.
To recap 2019, 380 participants accessed training and case management services, which is an increase of 9% over last year. This led to 80 participants graduating in nursing and other healthcare related degree programs from the El Paso Community College (EPCC) and the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). On average, it took this cohort of 91 graduates, 1.61 years to complete their job training. This past year, we saw 63 participants enter employment in high-demand occupations with average wages over $50,600 per year! These jobs will add over $3.2 million in payroll to our region after 12 full months of employment. Of this cohort, 92% lived at or below poverty, 32% received food stamps and 37% are single parents. The program’s year-to-year persistence rate was 89%. Over the last twelve months, our client services team enrolled 164 new participants. As always, I am very proud of the work our team has accomplished this year and I thank the Board of Directors for their continued leadership.
As always, I am very proud of the work our team has accomplished this year and I thank the Board of Directors for their continued leadership strategic vision for our great community.
Roman S. Ortiz Chief Executive Officer
1155 Westmoreland, Suite 235 El Paso, TX 79925 915.843.4055