07/26/2018: WorkReady Takes to the Streets of Philadelphia for Bus Tour Showcasing Youth Employment Opportunities

Buses are traveling to 10 different worksites across the city to see youth demonstrate what they have learned and accomplished throughout various youth employment experiences.

PHILADELPHIA, PA (July 26, 2018) – On July 26 and July 31, Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) will hold the third annual WorkReady Celebrations Tour, a bus tour celebrating the accomplishments of WorkReady Philadelphia youth employment programs across Philadelphia. WorkReady is a citywide effort to addresses the skills gap by convening partners for a coordinated approach to preparing young people for future employment, managed by PYN.

Last February, the City of Philadelphia released Fueling Philadelphia’s Talent Engine, a citywide workforce strategy, which includes some targeted goals around youth employment. Among these goals is providing 16,000 high quality employment opportunities annually by 2020. PYN is leading these efforts with partners, and the tour will highlight just a handful of the many opportunities that are taking place toward this goal. “Young people are our future workforce and we need to ensure that they are prepared to fill the jobs that our Philadelphia employers have,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “By making youth employment a priority, we are making the success of our future economy a priority.”

The WorkReady Celebrations Tour will highlight employment programs taking place this summer and also year-round. PYN on behalf of WorkReady offers a continuum of experiences for young people, from early opportunities like career exposure; to intermediate experiences such as service learning and work experience models; to advanced internships and pre-apprenticeships. On the tour, partners will have the opportunity over two days to visit 10 different worksites to see firsthand the impact that early employment has on the city’s young people and their communities. Different from previous years, the tour will include year-round worksites in addition to summer jobs programs.

This two-day tour kicks off with an opening information session hosted by the Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS). "DHS is proud to be a longstanding partner of PYN and WorkReady Philadelphia,” said Commissioner Cynthia Figueroa. "Investing in youth by supporting meaningful employment is a key part of our prevention work to strengthen children and families."

The tour will include site visits highlighting:

Thursday, July 26:

  • Congreso de Latinos Unidos
    At a neighborhood high school, we will be escorted through an exhibition of entrepreneurship, small businesses created by the young people. Showcasing their creativity, they will present their business plans and the process they used to develop them.
  • People’s Emergency Center
    Highlighting our collaborations and partnerships, PEC will present a tour of various demonstrations related to its Summer Service Learning Program in the West Philly Promise Zone. Projects are focused on beautification and other ways participants are giving back to their community.
  • Philadelphia Energy Authority
    The Philadelphia Energy Authority works to increase energy efficiency throughout the city by partnering with schools and community centers. Today, we will be witnessing a residential home that is officially going solar, and the participants in our program will be flipping the switch.
  • Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion
    We will be touring the new Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion. This walk will showcase the new butterfly pavilion, zoo, and exhibit hall that PYN interns are now helping create. Participants will learn about the importance of insects in our natural world and the necessity of community investment for educational institutions.

Tuesday, July 31:

  • Concilio
    The young people at Concilio are learning to collaborate together while learning how cultures collide. They are creating projects that instill a sense of pride in the participants, as it is crucial for growth and development to understand where they are from.
  • Congreso de Latinos Unidos
    This summer, the youth in Congreso’s summer career exposure program have been challenged to assess their future goals and ambitions related to education and career. Today’s presentation will include a variety of projects, including: mixed media art collages, career vlogs; a structural engineering project; a vision timeline and a branding project. 
  • SEAMAAC, Inc.
    The participants at SEAMAAC, Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Association Coalition, are learning teamwork, responsibility and leadership through various avenues of creativity. We will see this expression first-hand through their projects, which include: photography, videography, graffiti-style art, choreographed dances and music performances. 
  • Temple ITSRG (Apps and Maps)
    The participants at Temple University ITSRG, Information Technology and Society Research Group, also referred to as Apps and Maps, will showcase their collaboration skills via group project presentations. These include service learning, working on research and mural art projects; electrical engineering, working on coding and robotics; and entrepreneurship working on research and business blogs.
  • Urban Affairs Coalition
    The young people working for UAC at the Franklin Institute have been serving as science workshop facilitators and more. We will have the opportunity to tour the different departments they work in and shadow their experiences this summer. 

“I am so proud to showcase our partners and our young people today,” said Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, President and CEO of PYN. “This is a testament to what happens when employment and education experiences are aligned. Our partners will see the evidence of what I know to be true: when you give a young person an opportunity, they will grow and rise to the challenge.”

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