Cradle 2 Career blank

What We Do

The Cradle to Career Partnership (C2C) is about setting higher expectations in order to improve educational and life outcomes for the over a quarter-million young people living in Pima County, Arizona. Our mission is to support the preparation of every child in the greater Tucson area for success in school and life, ensuring the economic vitality of our community.

We bring together resources, courageous leadership and innovation from throughout the community to help students improve in key benchmarks along their pathway to adulthood. Through focused, data-driven action, we aggregate, connect and communicate best practices in education for the school systems and students of Pima County.

The Cradle to Career Partnership tracks key outcomes that indicate success, aligns resources to support best practices that work for students, teachers and schools, and stays focused on our objective of continuously improving outcomes for our area’s students.

The Partnership is founded on the premise that education is a lifelong experience beginning at birth, continuing through educational success, and resulting in the attainment of a meaningful career. We believe every child has the right to work and experience success across that continuum. A cradle-to-career commitment requires intentional efforts to eliminate disparities that might inhibit a student from achieving his or her potential.

C2C is developing the infrastructure for Pima County to improve education and workforce readiness outcomes. We are assembling new systems necessary for collecting, analyzing and sharing data that will inform new strategies and lead to productive engagements before, during and after school.

A laser-like focus on available data will help all stakeholders in Pima County education better understand what is working for our students and more nimbly define actions that can better support their success. We are focused on using data not just to measure progress, but to focus on systems of continuous improvement and the identification of strategies to build capacity that drives superior outcomes.

The Partnership is working to establish data-driven collaborative action networks for initiating and sustaining strategies to improve seven identified outcomes:

  • Kindergarten Readiness
  • Early Grade Literacy
  • Middle School Math
  • High School Graduation
  • Re-Engagement of Opportunity Youth
  • Post-Secondary Education Success and
  • Career Attainment

By building upon our community’s numerous existing assets, we can focus on ways to more quickly and better mobilize to improve educational outcomes.

Our Goals

C2C’s goals are long term and aligned with some of the most pressing needs of Pima County. These goals are to ensure over time that:


A Rigorous Approach

For years, education advocacy groups have been working hard to improve student learning and performance while community providers have been offering non-academic supports. Real progress has been made, though much of the work has been isolated with disconnected objectives, measurement and action and little ability to visualize, share and scale results.

By aligning goals, resources, work plans and measurements, we are creating a coordinated and concentrated impact that would not be possible for individual organizations to accomplish on their own.

To establish a foundation upon which we can build, C2C identified and selected outcomes that measure important student academic achievement milestones. An understanding of these data gives our community the opportunity to measure gains and address shortfalls throughout our region.

A National Movement with Proven Results

C2C is part of StriveTogether’s national Cradle to Career Network. It has met a rigorous set of benchmarks to earn its membership as an emerging partnership in this national network. The StriveTogether framework provides C2C with strategic assistance that helps build on opportunities, solve issues, and overcome challenges.

strive together



Our Data

The educational landscape of Pima County has many dimensions. C2C’s Baseline Report provides the most recent data on core indicators that can be measured in order to confirm that we are moving forward. Understanding where we stand by the numbers provides everyone in our community with essential information for planning their roles in steadily improving outcomes. Click the images below to download our reports and learn more!


Who We Are

We bring together leaders from across the community to identify collaborative solutions to improve outcomes for all children, youth and young adults. The Cradle to Career Partnership is backed by leading private and public organizations sharing common goals and requirements for an educated workforce and a healthy economic future for Pima County.

Leadership Council

David Baker


Flowing Well Unified School District


Vicki Balentine


Education Consultant


Jessica Brisson

Senior Director, SE Regional Area

First Things First


Collette Brown

Community Development Manager

Freeport McMoRan


Mel Cohen


Southern Arizona Leadership Council


Andrew Comrie


University of Arizona


Sheri Dahl


Diocese of Tucson Catholic Schools


Debbi Embry

President & CEO

Tucson Urban League


Francisco Garcia

Director of Public Health

Pima County Health Department


Bernadette Gruber

Education Domain Director



Steve Holmes


Sunnyside Unified School District


Barry Julian

University Development Tucson Representative

Grand Canyon State University


Jon Kasle, Co-Chair

VP, Communications and External Affairs



Lee Lambert


Pima Community College


Jennifer Lohse

Program Director

Tucson Foundations


Erin Lyons


Child Parent Centers, Inc.


Clint Mabie

President & CEO

Community Foundation for Southern Arizona


Lea Marquez-Peterson

President & CEO

Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce


Doug Martin

President & General Manager

Good News Radio Broadcasting


Amber Matthewson


Pima County Public Library


Stu Mellan

President & CEO

Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona


Charlene Mendoza

Founder & Principal

Arizona College Prep Academy


Edna Morris


Baboquivari Unified School District


Patrick Nelson


Amphitheater School District


Tony Penn

President & CEO

United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona


Kathleen Quigley

Presiding Judge

Pima County Juvenile Courts Center


Jonathan Rothschild


City of Tucson


Tracy Salkowitz

President & CEO

Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona


Eric Schindler

President & CEO

Child & Family Resources


Joseph Snell

President & CEO

Sun Corridor Inc.


Betty Stauffer

Executive Director

Literacy Connects


Alan Storm


Pima County JTED


Gabriel Trujillo

Interim Superintendent

Tucson Unified School District


Manuel Valenzuela


Sahuarita Unified School District


Michael Varney

President & CEO

Tucson Metro Chamber


Mark Vitale

Campus Director

University of Phoenix


Jenny Volpe

Executive Director

Make Way for Books


Dustin Williams 


Pima County Schools Superintendent's Office


Doug Wilson


Marana Unified School District


Backbone Organization

United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona


News and Views

Links to news articles and op-eds from various news outlets, white papers, etc. relating to C2C or Strive Together


Contact Us

Amanda Kucich

Senior Director, Cradle to Career Partnership

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