Category: WorkReady | Jul 6, 2015
PHILADELPHIA (July 6, 2015) – Today marks the beginning of youth summer work experiences for Philadelphia’s WorkReady program, a six-week summer employment program that focuses on career exposure opportunities for young people, ages 12-24. Due to the valued support of several city and state-wide partners, including the Office of Governor Tom Wolf, WorkReady Philadelphia estimated to provide more than 8,000 summer employment opportunities.
Last summer WorkReady provided 8,195 summer experiences for youth, which requires roughly $13 million in funding. President and CEO of the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN), managing partner of WorkReady Philadelphia, Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend expressed her gratitude for the public and private partnerships that helped to make a difference this year.
“While each year we’ve achieved growth over the previous year, the reality is that every summer we start back at square one. Just a few months ago we were projecting a $2.5 million dollar gap in order to match the same number of summer opportunities as last year, and I am happy to report that we met this challenge through the help of our city and statewide partnerships,” said Fulmore-Townsend. “That being said, we continue to be proud of this work and in awe of those who have stepped up to the plate. Though we have worked in this industry for many years, new partnerships have provided a fresh and invigorating perspective on the future workforce of Philadelphia.”
This year an unprecedented investment was made for summer jobs. Officials from the Wolf administration visited Philadelphia Friday, June 19 to announce a $7.5 million program that is expected to create 3,700 summer jobs statewide. Philadelphia will be receiving more than $4 million in funding, while the remaining funds will be distributed to other local workforce areas across the Commonwealth.
Support for summer jobs is also present at the local level, with Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter showing support for the summer jobs initiative since his tenure began in 2008. This summer, the City of Philadelphia invested more than $5 million in summer programming, with investments from the Department of Human Services and Parks and Recreation.
Each year, Mayor Nutter has launched the city’s collective effort of encouraging local businesses to hire young people this summer. In partnership with the Philadelphia Youth Network, Mayor Nutter continues to urge Philadelphia businesses, partners and individuals to join the citywide campaign.
"For the last few years, I have challenged businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals to come together and support WorkReady Philadelphia, which provides invaluable work experience, practical knowledge and leadership skills to young Philadelphians. This investment in the next generation of our workforce is a small one for businesses, but vitally important for the young people who have the opportunity to participate in WorkReady,” said Mayor Nutter. “I want to thank those who have stepped up on behalf of Philadelphia’s youth, and encourage everyone to continue supporting this critical initiative for both the future of young people and the future of Philadelphia’s ever-expanding workforce."
Currently, WorkReady Philadelphia contracts with more than 60 provider organizations that directly manage summer programming for youth through WorkReady’s four summer work experiences models. There are also 120 employers that hire and host internships at their own sites, or subsidize internships at other locations across the city.
Bank of America, WorkReady’s largest 2015 summer employer, is supporting 73 interns this summer and has invested nearly $500,000 in the program since 2007.
“Supporting young people in our communities is imperative to creating demand-driven employment pipelines,” said Tom Woodward, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia market president at Bank of America. “Early employment is a critical stepping stone on the pathway to financial security. The earlier in life that a person develops workforce skills, earns a paycheck and builds professional connections, the higher their life-long earning potential will be.”
WorkReady summer and year-round programs will culminate with the WorkReady Expo, an annual event that celebrates the accomplishments of youth and the projects they created during their participation in WorkReady programs. The Expo will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Thursday, August 13. Attendees can register for the Expo online.
Additionally, employers in the city can continue to support WorkReady Philadelphia by letting PYN know if they currently hire high school aged youth at their business/organization during the summer. Providing this information will give businesses the opportunity to be recognized for their investment in the future workforce of Philadelphia. To do so, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or provide information online at http://phillysummerjobs.org/.
About WorkReady Philadelphia
WorkReady Philadelphia is a citywide cross-sector workforce preparation initiative for youth and young adults, supported by investments from government, local and national philanthropies, and Greater Philadelphia employers. It provides employment experiences for youth ages 12-21. WorkReady is overseen by the Philadelphia Council for College and Career Success, a committee of the Philadelphia Works board. Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) serves as the managing partner and works with more than 60 organizations to operate WorkReady programs across the city.