Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates (JAG) announced that Honeywell, a company dedicated to building a safer, smarter, and more sustainable world, has hired two JAG students to help produce critical personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

The two JAG students were hired as assemblers in the Honeywell Aerospace Phoenix plant, where they will be making N95 masks to meet the urgent need of frontline workers during the coronavirus outbreak. Their responsibilities will include overseeing the machinery and quality testing. 

The students, who graduated from Westview High School in Avondale, AZ, and Compadre High School in Tempe, AZ, began their full-time jobs in mid-May. 

“It’s gratifying that our students are securing meaningful work at one of Arizona’s most prominent companies, especially during this very difficult job market. This is an amazing opportunity for our students to utilize the job skills they have learned through the JAG program to contribute positively during this crisis,” said Graciela Garcia Candia, President of Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates. “We’re highly impressed by Honeywell’s extremely high standards for employee safety in the midst of this pandemic, and the JAG team feels very comfortable sending our students to work there.” 

Honeywell is producing millions of N95 masks, converting space within existing manufacturing facilities to address the unprecedented demand for safety gear. An N95 mask is a respirator specifically built with materials that filter out particles in the air with 95 percent efficiency. Honeywell has implemented safety precautions in its facilities, per CDC guidelines, to help keep employees safe and healthy. These protocols include frequent cleaning and sanitizing, restricting site access, and enforcing proper social distancing. 

“Given the current economic climate in the U.S., adding jobs right now is beneficial for our employees and the economy overall. We’re proud to offer meaningful work opportunities for JAG students, who will be producing much-needed supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” explained Ryan Alexander, Senior Director of Global Talent Acquisition at Honeywell. “It’s clear that JAG provides their participants with the skills, training, and capabilities necessary for today’s competitive work environment, and we are very impressed with the JAG students joining our Honeywell team. We currently have a three-state partnership with JAG, which includes South Carolina and North Carolina, in addition to Arizona. Our partnership with JAG is so successful and rewarding that we’re working to expand to a fourth state soon.  We also plan on hiring additional JAG students moving forward.”

Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates (JAG) identifies Arizona youth who need additional support to graduate from high school and build a pathway to continued education, meaningful careers, and productive adulthood. This is particularly relevant today, given the variety of economic, academic, and environment barriers our nation’s youth face. 

JAG partners with local school districts, the business community, the public sector, and other non-profits to help young people stay in school and acquire the academic, personal, leadership and vocations skills they’ll need to be successful upon graduation.  JAG works with youth from 6th grade through age 24 and runs school and community-based programs throughout the state. JAG has served nearly 40,000 students in Arizona since 1980.