Mayor Nutter, Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board announce latest RFP for Recovery Act funding for worker training

Announcement made at solar panel installation school that received prior funding

PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board (WIB) announced today a new request for proposals (RFP) for federal Recovery Act funding slated for workforce development during a visit to a solar panel installation training site that received prior funding.

“This is what the Recovery Act is all about – putting people to work, helping them develop new skills, and investing in new technologies that will reduce our energy use saving homeowners real money” said Mayor Nutter. “We are getting this money out as quickly as possible, with close to $3 million in Recovery funding for training programs distributed over the summer. This next round of funding will train Philadelphians for work in the emerging green economy.”

Back in July, the $2.92 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus money was awarded by the Philadelphia WIB to a variety of training providers to offer 631 job-training slots. The Philadelphia Workforce Development Corp. (PWDC) contracted with the selected providers for the delivery of the programs.

The Philadelphia WIB and PWDC have released a new Request for Proposals (RFP) that will allocate an additional $1.1 million for training in high growth, high demand industries and occupations with a focus on emerging occupations related to the green economy (excluding residential weatherization), occupations in advanced manufacturing and other targeted industries.

For organizations interested in submitting proposals, a bidder’s conference is planned for 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday Oct. 28 at the Community College of Philadelphia, Bonnell Building, small auditorium, 1700 Spring Garden Street. A notice of intent to bid is requested by November 4, with the proposals due by Nov. 23. For additional information please visit: http://pwib.org/about_pwib/request_for_proposals.php or http://www.pwdc.org

Philadelphians who want to learn more about training, job placement, and other workforce services should call or visit their local PA CareerLink Center. There are five PA CareerLink Centers located throughout Philadelphia that serve as a “one-stop” network for individuals seeking employment or career advancement. In addition to connecting people to training programs, PA CareerLink Centers provide job search assistance, skill enhancement, workshops on topics such as resume writing and interviewing and a range of supportive services.

“We anticipate using this additional funding just as quickly as before to create and fill job-training slots that will prepare Philadelphians for jobs with a future,” said Roosevelt Hairston, Jr., chairman of the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board and Vice President of Government & Community Affairs for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “There may be signs that the economy is improving, but unemployment remains high and Philadelphia must continue to upgrade its workforce to compete in today’s challenging job market.”

Stephen L. Organ, president of Maxwell Education Group, the solar panel installation training provider, said graduates of his program will be enriching the Philadelphia workforce. His graduates average about 40 years in age and include five ex-offenders and six ex-military members. None of the 24 graduates was employed prior to the program, but several have already lined up jobs, and based on requests from regional employers, Mr. Organ anticipates that all of the graduates will begin good jobs, paying decent wages in the next few months.

“We expect to start another class in the next several months,” Organ said, noting that he already has a waiting list of 180. “We’re proud to help our students develop the broad-range of skills – from math to leadership to solar panel installation – they need to get a new lease on life in the workplace.”

About the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board
Founded in 1999, the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board is a volunteer commission appointed by the Mayor of Philadelphia with the legislated responsibility to govern the public workforce system in the city, including the CareerLink Centers. The organization that supports the commission – Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board, Inc. – provides expertise in all facets of workforce development, and works to align the skills of the region’s labor force to meet the needs of industry, ultimately supporting the region’s growth and prosperity. The organization’s vision is a thriving and inclusive regional economy and its mission is to advocate and advance a demand-driven opportunity agenda that effectively prepares Philadelphians to compete in the economic mainstream.

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