PHILADELPHIA — From April 25-29, the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN), the Summer Youth Employment Cabinet and various partners will be hosting and participating in Summer Jobs Week, an annual celebration of the importance of providing summer jobs for young people in Philadelphia. The goal of the campaign is to encourage local businesses, organizations, and individuals to commit to supporting the roughly 8,000 summer jobs being provided by WorkReady Summer in 2022.
The Summer Youth Employment Cabinet is made up of individuals, foundations, and organizations who are dedicated to creating new opportunities for youth through summer jobs. Bank of America, a partner with PYN since 2007, is helping to lead the charge through its dedication to supporting the future of work. This year, Bank of America has pledged $225,000 toward the Philly Summer Jobs Fund, which contributes directly to host and support 90 WorkReady summer jobs. In addition, as part of the Bank of America Student Leaders® program, five local students will intern directly with the Philadelphia Youth Network.
“Through the work of the Cabinet, we are cultivating opportunities to empower youth in lower- and moderate-income communities,” said Jim Dever, President, Bank of America of Greater Philadelphia and Summer Youth Cabinet chair. “Addressing issues that are fundamentally connected to racial equality and economic mobility — like access to workforce development, skills-building, and networking opportunities — can help shape the futures of both our region and our local youth. WorkReady provides a pathway for companies to hire directly from the communities we serve, connects residents with local career opportunities, and fosters a diverse pipeline of talent.”
Many local organizations have already committed to partnerships for this summer, including the University of Pennsylvania Rising Scholar Success Academy (PennRSSA), a six-week virtual program hosted through WorkReady. PennRSSA provides rising seniors with academic enrichment, exposure to varied careers, and individualized support with the college application process. Participants engage with Penn graduate students, faculty, and alumni, as well as four academic courses on a range of topics, including applied economics, finance and more. In 2022, PennRSSA plans to enroll 800 students in its flagship Summer Academy, with several thousand more invited to enroll in asynchronous virtual courses.
“Penn is delighted to participate in this historic partnership with PYN to offer thousands of Philadelphia youth the opportunity to participate in PennRSSA this summer,” said Dr. Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum, Vice Provost for Student Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania and Summer Youth Cabinet member. “The future of our city is inextricably linked to the prospects of the youth we nurture. We are excited to join PYN, the Summer Youth Cabinet, the business community, and institutional partners in fulfilling our shared promise to prepare Philadelphia’s young people for their future.”
“We are excited to celebrate Philly Summer Jobs Week, and we are just as excited to celebrate the work of our partners who allow PYN to deliver our WorkReady program each year,” said Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, PYN’s president and CEO. “We are thankful for the generous support from local businesses and donors such as Bank of America, and from the over 100 nonprofit organizations like the University of Pennsylvania who are expected to provide opportunities for youth this year.”
To participate in Summer Jobs Week, organizations and individuals can download the Summer Jobs Week toolkit and share stories about summer jobs on social media with the hashtag #SummerJobsWeek. PYN is also encouraging support through donating to the Philly Summer Jobs Fund, hiring or sponsoring youth, or volunteering to participate in PYN-led career panels. To learn more and pledge support, visit workready.org/donate.
WorkReady programs offer 12–24-year-olds in Philadelphia opportunities for workforce preparation. WorkReady School-Year opportunities are available by invitation only. WorkReady Summer programming runs between July and August each year. For many young people, work experiences are a critical first introduction to the world of work. WorkReady Summer provides a variety of program options through our 75+ partner organizations throughout Philadelphia. This summer, the program will offer safe in-person experiences for young people to gain valuable experience and develop critical skills. WorkReady partners and supporters are working to raise awareness and raise funds so that more young people can work this summer. WorkReady is managed by the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN). For more information, visit www.workready.org/.