06/30/2021: Summer Is Here: WorkReady Summer Experiences Start Today

Thousands of young people will begin their summer jobs today

PHILADELPHIA (July 6, 2021) — On Tuesday, July 6, 2021, the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) and partners across the city of Philadelphia will officially commence the WorkReady Summer program. Thanks to the support, partnership, and commitments of public and private investors, employers, corporations, foundations, individuals, our Board and the Summer Youth Employment Cabinet, PYN will provide thousands of young people with paid summer work experiences this summer. 

According to new data from Pew Research Center, last summer, teen employment was at the lowest level in United States history since the Great Recession. This data also shows that less than 31 percent of teens in the U.S.  had a paying job last summer. This year, to work towards achieving pre-pandemic youth employment levels, PYN is aiming to serve 8,000 young people as part of WorkReady Summer. 

This summer, PYN will work with more than 80 program partners to offer more than 100 high-quality and safe program options for young Philadelphians. Programming this year will be flexible and innovative – including safe in-person or hybrid (in-person and virtual) experiences from July through August.  

Key public sector partners who support WorkReady Summer include the City of Philadelphia Office of Children and Families, Philadelphia Works, Philadelphia City Council, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the School District of Philadelphia. Notable private sector investors who support WorkReady Summer include Bank of America, Citizens Bank, Comcast, Drexel University, Hilco, and Wells Fargo, among other organizations.   

Cynthia Figueroa, Deputy Mayor, City of Philadelphia Office of Family and Children shares, “Summer in the city is such an important time for young people – many use this time to further expand their horizons through education, gain valuable work experience, or re-connect with peers. WorkReady Summer allows young people to gain enriching skills and experience outside of school or the home, and we are proud to work with PYN as part of #PlayItSafePHL to connect young people to safe and productive activities this summer.”  

“One of the aspirations that emerged as a priority of the Chamber’s Recharge & Recover PHL initiative is to position our region as the new national model to work in the jobs of the future,” said Rob Wonderling, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. “As we seek to make good on this aspiration, we know just how important it is to identify ways to advance career pathways for Philadelphia's youth. The Chamber has long been a champion of summer WorkReady, and this year is no different. Over the past several months, we have engaged in meaningful conversations with Chamber members about how their future team members and leaders, our city's youth, must be equipped with exposure, skills, and knowledge, in order to succeed in their future careers. We applaud the dedication and commitment that everyone has made to provide crucial engagement experiences for Philadelphia’s youth this summer.” 

“At Philadelphia Works, we are eager for the start of WorkReady Summer because we know how impactful these work experiences are for young Philadelphians,” said H. Patrick Clancy, president and CEO at Philadelphia Works. “As part of WorkReady Summer, we also committed to hiring young people to work at Philadelphia Works. By both investing in the program and participating in it as an employer, we are fortunate to work directly with diverse, intelligent and reliable young people; and Philadelphia’s young people get to gain critical skills that can later contribute to our local economy.” 

“I am proud to be a member of the Summer Youth Employment Cabinet in support of summer jobs. I am also proud that UAC is one of the largest providers in the WorkReady system and has been a champion for summer jobs for more than 50 years. Leading up to the start of WorkReady Summer, the Cabinet worked diligently to bring donors and investors together to ensure that young people have opportunities to engage in positive summer work experiences, while developing the skills they need to succeed in our local workforce. We look forward to seeing the impact that our work will have on local businesses, our community and the young people who are participating in the program this year.” said Sharmain Matlock-Turner, President and CEO, Urban Affairs Coalition and Convener of the Summer Youth Employment Cabinet. 

“We are excited for WorkReady Summer programs to begin, and so grateful for the support of the Summer Youth Employment Cabinet, investors and program partners who have helped us raise more than $16M in funds this year. These funds will support summer experiences for thousands of young people,” said Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, PYN President and CEO. “This summer will offer an opportunity for so many young people to not only return to a sense of normalcy, but sharpen their financial knowledge, engage in meaningful work experiences and gain life-long skills. We know that these experiences and skills will chart the path for young Philadelphians to reach their full potential and achieve their dreams!” 

To learn more, visit www.workready.org

About WorkReady  

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 offers 100+ different programs through 80+ 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. Each year, at least twice as many young people apply for the roughly 8,000 opportunities available. 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

About the Philadelphia Youth Network  

The Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) creates education and employment opportunities for youth and young adults. We believe every young person deserves the chance to cultivate their talents and to achieve their dreams. To make more opportunities available to youth and young adults, we: 

  • Build systemic solutions that close gaps in youth serving systems,  
  • Support and train youth-serving organizations to deliver high quality programs that develop academic and career readiness skills,  
  • Engage employers and system leaders to ensure that today’s young people will be prepared to join tomorrow’s workforce, and  
  • Design comprehensive service networks to prepare youth for successful futures in school, work and life. 

For more information, visit www.pyninc.org

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