Amber Smith

Pipeline AZ , a statewide nonprofit organization powering a career-ready talent pipeline for Arizona’s economy, has announced Amber Smith as its new CEO. An advocate for equitable and accessible workforce development solutions, Smith will expand Pipeline AZ’s impact throughout Arizona and work collaboratively with the organization’s education, business and community partners to make career readiness resources available to all Arizonans. 

Smith formerly served as the Chief Strategy Officer of Futures, Inc., the technology workforce solution provider that powers Pipeline AZ’s public platform. Under Smith’s predecessor, Mary Foote, Pipeline AZ exponentially grew its reach connecting job seekers and students to career pathways in emerging Arizona industries. The platform grew to over 160k users and over 8,000 employers, connecting Arizona community college and university program options to all Arizona k-12 public schools using the platform in classrooms. Now, Smith will guide Pipeline AZ to strengthen its existing partnerships and expand the work with industry, underserved populations, and K-12 students statewide.

“Empowering people with career awareness and readiness allows them to find a career they’re passionate about and helps them attain a higher quality of life. At the community-level, equitable access to these resources reduces poverty and fills in-demand roles with talented people in companies and organizations that drive Arizona’s economy,” said Smith. “Pipeline AZ offers the infrastructure that enables this, and I look forward to working with our education, business and community partners to multiply our impact.”

In her previous position at Futures Inc., Smith designed and implemented strategies that reduced barriers to career readiness. Smith has also been active in Tucson’s business community, serving as president and CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber and the CEO of the Metropolitan Pima Alliance. She holds volunteer positions as Chair-Elect for the Pima Foundation, a board member on Higher Ground and she is a member of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council.

“The need for strong workforce development strategies in Arizona has never been greater, underscoring the importance of a collaborative approach to building up our talent pipeline that meets industry needs,” said Dean Duncan, interim board president of Pipeline AZ. “Amber’s collaborative leadership style, deep understanding of workforce ecosystems, and passion for driving positive change in the community will ensure Pipeline AZ is well-positioned to drive career exploration.”

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