On Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 9 a.m., the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) and partners hosted the 2021 Philly Summer Jobs Fund Kick Off Event, a virtual event to officially commence fundraising for Summer 2021.
According to a recent survey conducted by the Pew Center, between December 2019 and December 2020, the unemployment rate among workers aged 16 to 24 rose by 4.2 percentage points, while for other age groups, the increase was closer to 3 percentage points.
Last year, amidst growing uncertainty about employment for youth in Philadelphia, the Philly Summer Jobs Fund raised $1.9 million in new funding for summer programming – helping to provide young people with summer experiences in 2020. This event will help to fundraise additional money to continue to support youth for Summer 2021.
In partnership with trusted citywide officials, partners, employers, youth-serving organizations, and investors, the event highlighted national youth employment data, showcased 2020 achievements and formally launched Summer 2021. Key speakers included:
Additional remarks were provided by Sidney Hargro (The Philanthropy Network) and Jim Dever (Bank of America), as well as a young person who has participated in WorkReady Summer.
Speakers engaged participants to think about the future of summer and ways to ensure that Philadelphia youth continue to have opportunities to gain the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in school, work and life.
“We need to ensure that young people are supported and set up for success as we work toward economic recovery, with equitable access to opportunities like summer jobs,” said Waleska Maldonado, Chief of Prevention, City of Philadelphia Office of Family and Children. “Last year we provided more than 6,000 summer opportunities and this year we aim to exceed that. The City remains steadfast in our commitment, investing nearly $8 million in youth employment annually. We hope others will commit to supporting summer jobs as well.”
“Philadelphia Works prides itself in understanding that the hope for the future of our City greatly depends on the investments we make in our youth and young adults today,” said H. Patrick Clancy, president and CEO at Philadelphia Works. “Last summer, we invested over $5 million in youth services, and we see no signs of those investments slowing down for summer 2021. I am thankful to be among a committed group of leaders that serve the organizations that are progressing our youth workforce system. Together, we are positioning Philadelphia’s youth to help define us as a vibrant talent hub for businesses coming into our city.”
"In 2020, the workforce as we knew it shifted, and youth-serving organizations were forced to innovate their programming to meet young people where they were -- leveraging creativity and technology like never before,” said Sharmain Matlock-Turner, President and CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition. “We are thankful for our partners and proud of what we were able to accomplish last summer. As we continue to position youth and young adults for success in 2021 and beyond, we are committed to bolstering our partnerships to provide summer experiences and work opportunities that will make a difference for young Philadelphians.”
“As we strive to support our nation’s economic recovery, it is crucial to continue to provide work experiences for Philadelphia’s young people, while keeping in mind that work expectations have drastically shifted over the past year. We know that we cannot do this work alone, so we are grateful to our partners for their commitment to the Philly Summer Jobs Fund – and to providing experiences for young people this coming year,” said Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, the Philadelphia Youth Network’s President & CEO.
To learn more, visit www.workready.org/donate.