Category: WorkReady | Jan 22, 2014
Philadelphia - On Tuesday, January 21, Mayor Michael A. Nutter launched the 2014 Summer Jobs Challenge, which will help grow the skills of our emerging professionals and ignite young people's desire to develop educational and professional pathways.
Predictions for summer 2014 forecast that slightly more than 4,000 WorkReady summer jobs will be available for youth. In response, Mayor Nutter, in partnership with WorkReady Philadelphia, is encouraging Philadelphia businesses, partners, and individuals to unite and join the city-wide challenge. The goal of this summer jobs challenge is to increase opportunities available to youth by growing the number of people connected to the WorkReady system.
"WorkReady Philadelphia is an excellent program for our City's young people, Philadelphia businesses and our local economy. It's a program that provides internships based on available funding, but unfortunately with the expiration of key grants, WorkReady faces the prospect of the smallest number of summer jobs since the program's inception," said Mayor Nutter. "If we come together as a City, we can increase the number of learning based work opportunities available to young Philadelphians. I am challenging everyone - business and non-profit leaders, small business owners and citizens to get involved and create new youth summer jobs."
Last year, Mayor Nutter created a similar call-to-action, challenging the city to create more summer jobs. In response, WorkReady Philadelphia provided more than 7,600 enhanced summer job opportunities to young people ages 14-21. Moreover, the local business community united to provide support for more than 1,600 summer employment opportunities. This represents the highest level of collective support from this sector since the launch of WorkReady in 2003.
Based on the WorkReady Summer 2013 employer satisfaction survey, 100% of respondents would recommend participating in the program to other employers. Employers can have a significant impact in shaping the future workforce of our region when they participate in WorkReady programs.
"Participating in WorkReady is not only opportunity for employers to shape the quality of Philadelphia's workforce, but it is a necessity in order for Philadelphia to thrive in the future," said Tom Woodward, Market President for Bank of America - Pennsylvania. "I have seen firsthand the impact of these opportunities on young people, and I encourage other companies to join in this effort and commit to hiring or supporting young people." Since 2007, Bank of America has supported the WorkReady summer jobs initiative by sponsoring more than 170 work experiences.
President and CEO of the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN), Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, said, "Last summer in response to Mayor Nutter's Challenge, our city truly rose to the occasion and worked to increase the number of opportunities available to youth. We need our city to do the same this year - and we are confident that it is possible! Our intention is to ensure that every young person that wants an employment opportunity is able to have one." PYN is the managing partner of the WorkReady Philadelphia campaign and provides oversight to programs funded under the WorkReady umbrella.
Sharmain Matlock-Turner, President and CEO of The Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC) said, "At UAC, one of our priorities is to provide youth with access to safe havens, education, and jobs - and WorkReady allows us to achieve all three. The benefits of WorkReady far outweigh the costs. As a city, we cannot rest until we have increased the number of teens who are able to work this summer." UAC serves as a provider organization to WorkReady, meaning they are sub-contracted by PYN to operate the summer employment programs. This past summer, UAC placed 1,192 students in paid jobs and internships across Philadelphia.
All interested parties can join the challenge today by:
Learn more about Mayor Nutter's 2014 Summer Jobs Challenge by visiting www.phillysummerjobs.org.