On Thursday, January 5, the White House launched its Summer Jobs + initiative, a call to action to American businesses, non-profits and government entities to put our young people to work this summer. Businesses and government agencies from across the country were in attendance. Philadelphia was the only employment system invited to participate.
This new initiative promotes the connections that make WorkReady Philadelphia successful – the involvement of the private and public sector to support opportunities for youth and prepare them for the workforce. In summer 2011, as a result of investments from the business community, foundations, and government agencies, over 5,300 youth held summer jobs through WorkReady, 20% of which were supported by the local business community.
“It’s encouraging to see the President underscore the importance of summer jobs for young people and the value of having all sectors, particularly the private sector, be a part of this effort. It’s heartening to see Philadelphia’s WorkReady initiative be recognized as a system leading this collaborative approach. We are very proud of our youth council, the Philadelphia Council for College and Career Success, who lead this effort,” said Mark Edwards, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Workforce Development Corporation.
Tiana Butler, a WorkReady summer intern, sat on a panel moderated by U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan and NAACP President and CEO, Benjamin Todd Jealous. Along with five other youth from across the country, Tiana shared how her WorkReady experience had a positive impact on her life both personally and professionally. She also had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet President Obama and receive a tour of the White House.
A 2011 graduate of G.W. Carver High School for Engineering and Science and a first-year student at Penn State University, Tiana was a WorkReady summer intern at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in 2010 and 2011. She plans to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy, a choice that she attributes to her internship. “I had never even heard of Occupational Therapy until my WorkReady internship at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. My summer job allowed me to find my passion.”
For more information on the summit and Summer Jobs +, see:
– U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis’ post on Huffington Post
– The White House’s press release
WorkReady Philadelphia is a cross-sector partnership dedicated to improving the economic outcomes of the region’s youth by attracting, aligning and investing resources in research-based, youth workforce-development strategies. Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) manages WorkReady Philadelphia on behalf of the Philadelphia Council for College and Career Success, a committee of the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board. WorkReady Philadelphia employer recruitment partners are The City of Philadelphia, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Philadelphia Academies, Inc., Philadelphia Youth Network, and United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania.