Philadelphia Will Put 9,000 Young People to Work this Summer
Philadelphia, June 24, 2009 – Today Mayor Michael Nutter declared that Philadelphia young people are “ready, willing and able” to take full advantage of $7.4 million in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funding for youth employment available to the City, so that they can “work, learn and earn” this summer and throughout the year. Nutter made his remarks at Temple University’s TECH Center, where he addressed representatives of youth service organizations who had successfully applied to operate programs with Recovery Act funds.
Recovery Act youth employment programs are expected to serve more than 2,500 young Philadelphians this summer. By utilizing the WorkReady Philadelphia system of programs currently in place, the City is particularly well-prepared to spend these funds effectively and efficiently. In all, almost 9,000 young people are expected to participate in WorkReady programs this summer.
“These investments are not only the right thing to do for our young people – by helping them to gain invaluable workplace and academic skills, they’re also the smart thing to do – by preparing our workforce of the future,” said Mayor Nutter.
The Recovery Act, signed into law by President Obama on February 17, provided $1.2 billion nationally to support youth employment, including summer and year-round jobs. This appropriation recognized both the short-term stimulative value of providing young people with paid employment, and also the long-term benefit of helping youth develop work readiness and other 21st century skills.
The event highlighted several programs with a “green jobs” orientation. For example, event host Temple University’s summer youth employment projects will approximately 150 young people opportunities to learn about sophisticated technologies and to build skills important for success in green jobs and in the broader knowledge economy.
Kenneth Lawrence, Temple Senior Vice President for Government, Community and Public Affairs, welcomed the Mayor and the agency leaders, and lauded the Mayor’s commitment to promoting educational attainment for all Philadelphians. “We greatly appreciate the Mayor’s leadership on these issues,” Mr. Lawrence said, “and we are especially pleased to be able to host so many bright and talented young people this summer.”
Stacy Holland, co-President of the Philadelphia Youth Network, gave an overview of Philadelphia’s plans to spend the federal youth employment funds. “In addition to the thousands of young people who will be engaged in meaningful summer work, community service, college exposure and academic enrichment, we will also be able to provide year-round services for hundreds older out-of-school youth,” Holland stated. “Without these funds,” she said, “all these young people would have very limited access to meaningful employment and academic enrichment opportunities this summer and throughout the year.”
Young people from youth service agencies focusing on green jobs and related experiences, including Caring People Alliance, Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition and the Student Conservation Association, also spoke about their eagerness to get started in their jobs this summer. In addition, representatives of the Philadelphia Youth Network Youth Ambassadors – an organization which trains young people to provide a youth perspective in policy discussions – reported on positive findings from surveys of youth participating in previous summer jobs programs.
Recovery Act and other WorkReady programs are managed by the Philadelphia Youth Network, under contract to the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board. To learn more about summer employment opportunities, please contact the Philadelphia Youth Network at 267-502-3800.
For additional information, please contact Melissa Orner, Senior Vice President for Communications and Development, Philadelphia Youth Network, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 267-502-3718.