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Local and national investors applauded for support of year-round and summer opportunities through WorkReady Philadelphia


Category: WorkReady | Nov 18, 2013

Today, key city leaders congratulated more than 200 investors who supported summer and year-round, educationally-enriched work experiences for Philadelphia's young people through WorkReady Philadelphia, the city's system for youth workforce preparation.  The combined efforts of the private, public and non-profit sectors yielded high-quality workplace experiences for over 9,800 young people this past year.

"Through its enhanced youth employment opportunities, WorkReady is helping to ensure the next generations of Philadelphians have the real-world experience, workplace skills and knowledge to be competitive in the job market," said Mayor Nutter.  "But WorkReady would not be the success that it is without the generous support of investors from the public, private and non-profit sectors.  I want to thank these investors, whether they hosted an intern or made a donation, for their support of WorkReady and our young people."

Since 2003, WorkReady Philadelphia has driven change and created significant impact. Over the past 10 years, WorkReady programs have:

  • Put more than 88,000 youth to work in work experiences and training programs

  • Raised more than $15 million in employer support for youth work experiences

  • Infused more than $68 million into the local economy through wages paid to youth

  • Facilitated on-the-job experiences for youth at over 1,000 worksites across the region

Anthony Bartolomeo, President and CEO of Pennoni Associates and Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Council for College and Career Success (the Council) - which oversees WorkReady Philadelphia's efforts - welcomed attendees and underscored the importance of investor support to the success of WorkReady. "Over the past decade, it's been my privilege to work toward building and sustaining a system that provides high-quality career preparation for youth in Philadelphia. Together, we have created and will continue to foster unique solutions to grow and prepare young people for career and educational success, as we recognize they are the cornerstone of a successful regional economy."

The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce (GPCC) has worked closely with the Council to encourage employers to support experiences for youth through WorkReady. GPCC President and CEO, Rob Wonderling, acknowledged the success of this important partnership. "In recent years, the economy has been tough on all of us.  However, despite these challenging economic times, Philadelphia employers have risen to the challenge and continued to demonstrate their commitment to young people," said Wonderling.  "I am proud to report that, over the last seven years, Philadelphia businesses have supported more than 8,000 summer job opportunities, resulting in $7.5 million in wages for those young people and their families.  These efforts promote economic growth in neighborhoods and communities across Philadelphia."

The WorkReady system also benefitted from major contributions from local and national foundations, most notably Goldman Sachs Gives, the Walmart Foundation and the Center for Youth and Communities of The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, and the William Penn Foundation.

WorkReady Philadelphia participants were on-hand, presenting awards and sharing how their experiences have positively impacted them personally and professionally.

Nasir Mack, an aspiring architect, worked at Pennoni Associates. He expressed how his work experiences has influenced his future career plans. "At my job, I was paid to learn and expand my mind.  Having this opportunity this summer really helped me mold my career path."

Acting President and CEO of the Philadelphia Youth Network, Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, reflected on WorkReady's accomplishments, and encouraged Philadelphia to continue their commitment to young people.  "Since WorkReady's inception in 2003, we have served more than 88,000 young people through work experiences and training programs.  WorkReady truly is a movement that is designed to power the next generation, and we are committed to succeeding. Let us all continue this movement and find it in ourselves to answer the call and commit to action; the end result will be  a future generation of qualified, educated and inspired young people to help cultivate and grow this great city we live in."

The following awards were presented at the event:

The Boost Award - Investment partners who supported 25 to 100 work experiences. 

  • Bank of America

  • Cancer Treatment Centers of America

  • Citizens Bank Foundation

  • City of Philadelphia

  • Comcast

  • Drexel University

  • Independence Blue Cross

  • Lincoln Financial Foundation

  • PECO

  • TD Bank

  • Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital

  • United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey

  • Wells Fargo Foundation

The Allegiance Award  - Investment partners that have provided uninterrupted support since WorkReady began in 2003.

  • Citizens Bank/Citizens Bank Foundation

  • HRPT/Reit Management & Research

  • Independence Blue Cross

  • Lincoln Financial Foundation

  • Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO

  • Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Health and Welfare Fund

  • William Penn Foundation

The Catalyst Award - Investment partners who committed $250,000 or more in support of WorkReady Philadelphia Summer 2013 programs.

  • Goldman Sachs Gives

  • Walmart Foundation and the Center for Youth and Communities of The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

  • William Penn Foundation

WorkReady Spotlight - Organizations and Individuals that have made unique contributions to advancing opportunities for our young people through WorkReady.

  • Organization: City of Philadelphia Department of Human Services

  • Individual: Pamela Browner White, Cancer Treatment Centers of America

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