Thanks to a Summer Jobs Connect Expansion Grant, the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) will be continuing to integrate and expand financial empowerment and banking access into the Summer Jobs program on behalf of WorkReady. With 12.5% of Philadelphians unbanked and 22.1% underbanked, the need to increase awareness and access to these low-cost products is imperative, particularly among individuals who are first earning and managing new income and finances. Earlier this year, PYN collected information around banking access via the Summer Jobs application, ultimately revealing that 67% of applicants do not have banking access.
This grant will allow PYN to work with local banking partners to identify best fit products that would help connect participants to banking opportunities. After partnering with Bank of America, PYN piloted a new payment method which offered direct deposit as a payment method option, connecting participants to low-cost, no-penalty financial products that met their needs. The pilot will inform PYN’s strategy to expand the direct deposit capability and provide banking access to all summer and year-round programs for youth and young adults in the coming years.
Additionally, the grant will enable additional digital and in-person financial education opportunities to help young people utilize the array of financial products available to them, sound banking practices and habits, as well as the dangers and pitfalls of breaking those habits.
This effort expands upon last year’s efforts that successfully allowed PYN, in cooperation with the Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC) to launch the first Young Investor’s League pilot that served 300 youth. Past Summer Jobs participants who were first- and second-year college students, trained and mentored younger participants around savings and banking topics.
“Providing young people with access to banking options and equipping them with the knowledge to make important financial decisions is imperative to setting them up to be successful,” said Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, President & CEO at PYN. “We are excited to implement this program and continually look for ways to better enhance our programming and better serve our participants.”
These efforts are in partnership with the City of Philadelphia Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO), which has worked with the CFE Fund since 2013 and non-profit providers to bolster economic security and asset building, which are key to CEO’s purpose to provide leadership on economic justice.