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Announcing WorkReady VIP (Violence Intervention and Prevention)

Get involved with PYN's newest program violence intervention program, WorkReady VIP!

Philadelphia Youth Network Launches New Career Program Focused on Violence Prevention - Get Involved!  

The Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) today announced it is launching “WorkReady VIP,” a year-round Out of School Time (OST) career-connected learning program with a focus on violence prevention strategies and support services for vulnerable youth.

What to Expect:

WorkReady VIP is designed to provide comprehensive career development training through guided curriculum and paid jobsite placements across a variety of career sectors. In addition to opportunities for paid work, program providers will offer violence intervention and prevention services, access to trauma-informed support services, health and intervention strategies, employment support, and community development services.

  • 6-12 week experiences hosted at partner organizations and worksites across Philadelphia.

  • 120 Hours of paid career readiness training - split between classroom and jobsite days

  • $11/hr starting wage.

  • Intermittent classroom and on-site professional development trainings, industry tours, guest speakers, site visits and more. 

  • Trauma-informed support services and mentorship.  

Youth employment and job mentorship are among the most effective tools to limit young people’s contact with the criminal justice system.  A report on Summer Youth Employment Programs found that Philadelphia’s Work Ready summer program reduces arrests and keeps young people out of detention and prison. Incarceration dropped by almost 80% among participants.

“It is our responsibility as adults to provide opportunities to young people, to invest in them, and to provide experiences that help them build both professional and personal skills to ensure they become prepared, productive, and contributing adults,” said PYN President and CEO Wendy-Anne Roberts-Johnson. “When young people feel confident in themselves and hopeful about their futures, we all benefit from a safer and stronger city.”

Support for the programming is provided through grant funding from the Pennsylvania Commission for Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) program.

Youth who are interested in learning more should click below to fill out an interest form!

WorkReady VIP will focus on serving youth from neighborhoods with high concentrations of gun violence, which will include large swaths of Kensington, North Philadelphia, and West Philadelphia. A portion of the participants in the program will receive additional holistic support to address the multifaceted nature of violence. This approach not only focuses on career readiness, but also extends to mental health support and wraparound services to help participants excel in school and at work.

Launching this spring, WorkReady VIP will engage youth in meaningful career-connected learning opportunities through a cohort of providers managed by PYN. The industries students will be exposed to through multiple job rotations year-round in 20 sectors, including utilities, real estate, finance and insurance, hospitality, automotive technology, and architecture, construction and engineering. In its first year WorkReady VIP will serve 400 young people.

A priority of WorkReady VIP will be to engage the broader community and maintain robust partnerships with law enforcement, community organizations and other stakeholders. Building trust within the community will be key to aiding in the reduction of violence.

The Youth Outreach Adolescent Community Awareness Program (YOACAP), a partner of the Urban Affairs Coalition, is one of the providers for the WorkReady VIP initiative.

“YOACAP is pleased to work with PYN for the WorkReady VIP program,” said Unit Leader Ebony Joyner. “This partnership will allow us to support 40 youth, providing them with life skills, leadership training, paid work experience, and professionalism to prepare our young people for young adulthood. We know that giving youth meaningful career exposure with work-based learning experiences helps them establish their professional networks and learn responsibilities while earning wages as they expand their career experiences and choices. It will provide youth with incentives and paid work experience to keep them away from harmful situations that they may experience if they are not engaged in such a program."

PYN is actively seeking employers to provide work experience opportunities for WorkReady VIP in addition to the rest of their workforce programs. “Project 100” represents PYN’s goal to enlist 100 Philadelphia businesses of all sizes and from various sectors to commit to youth employment experiences and mentorship by April 30, 2024. Interested employers should sign up using the Employer Interest Form linked below.

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