Category: WorkReady | Aug 13, 2015
Philadelphia, PA (August 13, 2015) - Nearly 400 youth gathered at the Pennsylvania Convention Center for the 2015 WorkReady Philadelphia Expo on Thursday, August 13. Youth who participated in the six-week internship program showcased their various achievements through a presentation of projects and portfolios, and participated in workshops to further develop skills in networking and job readiness. This year’s theme, Connect, Invest, Achieve, encourages participants to explore how all members of the WorkReady community can unite in order to successfully transition city youth into the workforce.
Due to the support of several city and state-wide partners, including the City of Philadelphia and the office of Governor Tom Wolf, WorkReady is slated to provide more than 8,000 work experiences for youth this summer, equal to the same number of opportunities as last summer.
"The WorkReady Philadelphia Expo is an opportunity for young people to present the hard work they’ve demonstrated all summer long,” said Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN). "It is also a time for the entire WorkReady community to celebrate the many achievements that our youth have accomplished throughout the course of their summer and year-round programs."
All youth participants were tasked with the objective to create either a project or portfolio that displays mastery of key 21st century skills, such as flexibility and adaptability; or initiative and self-direction. Youth were selected to participate in the Expo by submitting an application and proposal. A pre-selected committee then evaluated each proposal and determined which projects were presented at the Expo.
The Expo also featured new opportunities this year, including workshops for both young people and participants from the youth-serving organizations who were invited to attend. Young people were also given a chance to have their projects continue past the summer through a "Venture Pathways" challenge, modeled after the popular entrepreneurial television show, "Shark Tank". Job shadowing with some of Philadelphia's executive level professionals were also raffled at the Expo to encourage young peoples' interests in cross-sector industries.
Earlier this year, Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced a goal of reaching 10,000 summer jobs for youth this summer. With WorkReady Philadelphia serving as the driving force behind this goal, the city is on track to reach that achievement, with additional coordination through other youth employment opportunities made possible from other citywide initiatives. The City of Philadelphia is also working closely with the Philadelphia Youth Network (managing partner of WorkReady Philadelphia) to identify new partners who are hiring youth this summer and how they can expand the network of employers to reach 10,000. Data will be collected throughout the summer and final numbers will be released in the fall.
“Over the last seven years, our Administration has worked tirelessly to provide young Philadelphians with employment opportunities that expand their knowledge, skills, on-the-job experience and sense of responsibility. Through WorkReady Philadelphia and our broader summer jobs initiatives, thousands of young people have learned first-hand about the working world and how to succeed in it,” said Mayor Nutter. “I want to congratulate all of the young people who participated in summer work experiences, especially the 400 presenters at the WorkReady Expo. They have worked hard and set themselves up for success not only in the classroom, but in their future career.”
To learn more about WorkReady Philadelphia, visit online at www.workreadyphila.org.
About WorkReady Philadelphia
WorkReady Philadelphia is the city's workforce preparation system for youth and young adults, supported by investments from government, local and national philanthropies and Greater Philadelphia employers. 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. PYN also partners with the City of Philadelphia, the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Main Line Chamber of Commerce, Philadelphia Academies, Inc., and the School District of Philadelphia, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and The Urban Affairs Coalition to recruit investors to offer opportunities for youth through WorkReady. For more information about WorkReady, go to www.workreadyphila.org.