PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Jim Kenney today announced an additional $1 million to support paid summer employment for Philadelphia youth, ages 12-24, through the WorkReady program. The additional support of $1 million from the City of Philadelphia brings the total City funding to $7.8 million. More than 8,000 youth will be employed this summer through WorkReady in a variety of industries, including research, community services, summer camps, and City government.
Mayor Kenney, along with City, non-profit, and business leaders, shared their commitment to WorkReady Philadelphia, a citywide effort to address the career skills gap by convening partners, employers, leaders of youth-serving systems and youth to build a coordinated approach to preparing young people for future employment, establish a talent pipeline, and provide safe spaces for youth over the summer.
City of Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) Commissioner, Cynthia Figueroa, emphasized the department’s committed to ensuring that youth who are DHS involved are connected to WorkReady.
The summer jobs program is funded by the City of Philadelphia ($7.8 million) and Philadelphia Works ($5.3 million), along with support from businesses and philanthropists. It is managed by the Philadelphia Youth Network. The City of Philadelphia Department of Human Services is the largest City funder of summer jobs on behalf of WorkReady.
WorkReady gives young people a meaningful paid work experience that connects youth to caring adults and offers the opportunity to build career skills. For many of the youth it will be their first employment opportunity.
The event was hosted by Bank of America, which has been a steady supporter of WorkReady since 2007. This summer they are supporting 80 summer jobs, through financial investments and hosting interns in offices and financial centers.
Quote from Mayor Kenney: “Because we believe that more youth should have the summer WorkReady opportunity, I’m pleased to announce that the City increased funding for this program by $1 million dollars this year, expanding the total City investment for WorkReady to $7.8 million. Investing in our youth is critical and ensuring that all youth—especially those with the least opportunity—are provided with meaningful, paid summer employment.”
Quote from DHS Commissioner Cynthia F. Figueroa: “Youth tell us that having a job, getting employment experience, and earning their own money is important to them. DHS’ commitment to WorkReady helps ensure that youth in our care have access to these opportunities.”
Quote from Philadelphia Youth Network President and CEO Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend: “It is a testament to our partners and their commitment that we are projecting more than 8,000 young people to have summer jobs through WorkReady this summer! We’re excited to kick off summer jobs today and watch the impact it will have on our young people, our communities, and our businesses this summer and for years to come.”
Quote from Bank of America President Jim Dever: “We recognize that building workforce skills early can help prepare a young person for long-term success. Investing in youth and young adults is part of our broader commitment to connecting individuals to the training and jobs needed for success, ultimately strengthening the Philadelphia community.”
Quote from WorkReady Past Participant Gregory Damas: “Participating in WorkReady and the Bank of America Student Leaders program was my catalyst for future opportunities. I learned skills that I needed to be successful in a work environment and had access to a network of support.