Investment brings WorkReady Philadelphia summer jobs to 7,600 total opportunities.
Philadelphia, July 1, 2014 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that the City of Philadelphia has invested more than $7 million, including $3.6 million from the Department of Human Services (DHS), in summer and year-round employment programs through WorkReady Philadelphia. These funds will support at least 3,400 employment opportunities for young people this summer and during the course of the year. This represents an historic investment by the City to support the preparation of young Philadelphians for 21st century jobs and future careers.
In January, funding projections indicated Philadelphia was facing a summer jobs crisis, with only enough funding available to serve less than 4,000 young people – the lowest forecasted number since WorkReady’s inception in 2003. Mayor Nutter and other City officials then launched the 2014 Summer Jobs Challenge to raise awareness and funds. Local and national investors responded, nearly doubling available funds which will support at least 7,600 summer work experiences this year, which is the same as the number of experiences offered in 2013.
“We know that providing valuable work experiences and practical workplace learning opportunities improve a young person’s chances of achieving future career success. It is good for them and it is good for our entire City,” said Mayor Nutter. “For many years, I have challenged businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals to come together to support WorkReady Philadelphia and the opportunities it provides. For this year, I want to thank all of the organizations and people who came together in support of Philadelphia’s young people. Every job, every internship, every mentoring experience that we provide creates a stronger economy and a better city.”
Today also marks the start of WorkReady Philadelphia’s summer programming. WorkReady provides employment and career experiences for young people, ages 12-21, who work in a variety of settings including corporations, small businesses, non-profit organizations and government.
Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, President and CEO of PYN said, “At a time when the youth unemployment rate is three times higher than the national average, I am humbled at the collective effort our city has made toward the 2014 Summer Jobs Challenge. This year, the City of Philadelphia made significant contributions to summer and year-round opportunities for youth, and we would not be where we are today without their support. In addition, our business and philanthropic communities answered the call and acted on behalf of our young people to provide meaningful opportunities this summer. This is an exciting time for our city, as it shows that when we work in unison toward a common goal we can achieve great things.”
Anne Marie Ambrose, DHS Commissioner, said, “WorkReady Philadelphia is about ensuring that Philadelphia youth have the skills and knowledge they need to enter the workforce and stand out in a competitive job market. These young people already face so many challenges in life – many of which we deal with every day at DHS – so it was important for DHS to contribute to this effort. An investment in our youth is an investment in our communities.” DHS contributed $3.6 million to the 2014 Summer Jobs Challenge.
WorkReady summer and year-round programs will culminate with the WorkReady Expo, an annual event that celebrates the accomplishments of youth and the outstanding projects they created during their participation in WorkReady programs. The Expo will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Wednesday, August 6, 2014.
Employers can continue to support the 2014 Summer Jobs Challenge by contacting PYN if they currently hire high school aged youth at their business/organization during the summer. Providing this information will allow them the opportunity to be recognized for their investment in the future workforce of Philadelphia. To do so, please email@example.com.
For a complete list of WorkReady 2014 investors, visithttp://www.pyninc.org/workready/investors.php.
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 50 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., 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.