PHILADELPHIA — Today, the Philadelphia Department of Labor’s Office of Worker Protections announced ten community organizations will be awarded nearly $100,000 in funding as part of the second Community Outreach and Education Fund. Through June 2024, these trusted organizations will partner  with the Office of Worker Protections to promote the City’s labor laws in their communities and raise awareness about workplace protections they may not know they have.

“Philadelphia labor laws aim to increase equity at work, raise economic security and keep families healthy at work,” said Candace Chewning, Director of the City’s Office of Worker Protections. “Through last year’s Fund, we built a network of over forty community institutions distributing resources about the city’s labor laws in over 25 languages. This fund provides an opportunity for the city to invest in our relationships with dedicated community leaders and staff who are the human element that truly connects these laws to working people.”

Three organizations were selected as Community Programming partners and will receive $20,000 each to develop and integrate worker protection programming for their members or communities. These organizations are: 

  • Coalition for Restaurant Safety and Health/El Comité de Trabajadorxs de Restaurantes
  • Vietlead 
  • Restaurant Opportunities Centers of Pennsylvania 

“El Comité has always been focused on growing leaders and building commitment to healthy and safe restaurants for all,” said Carly Pourzand, Co-Coordinator of El Comité de Trabajadorxs de Restaurantes. “We believe that workers most affected by these conditions, especially immigrant womxn, can best identify the issues and the solutions that will have the greatest impact. As a Community Programming Partner, we are excited to continue building on the work we fostered in last year’s Community Outreach and Education Fund, which enabled us to do a train-the-trainer program for Latinx workers. Our worker leaders have taken powerful strides in creating better workplace conditions and helping other workers access their rights, such as Paid Sick Leave. We look forward to continuing this work in the new year!”

“Vietlead is excited to partner with Philadelphia’s Department of Labor and participate in the COEF for a second time,” said Emily Tran, Health Projects Senior Manager at VietLead. “We hope to use this opportunity to engage more deeply with immigrant and refugee workers and business owners to build more healthy and thriving workplaces for our community.”

Seven organizations were selected as Resource Sharing partners and will receive $5,000 each to share resources on worker protections directly with their communities online and in-person. These organizations are:

  • Blackwell Culture Alliance Inc
  • Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia
  • Haitian Americans United for Change
  • National Domestic Workers Alliance – Pennsylvania Chapter
  • New Options More Opportunities (NoMo)
  • Philly Black Worker Project
  • Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition (SEAMAAC)

“Here at NoMo, we pride ourselves on strengthening our communities through education and resources,” said Chanice Smith, Chief Programming Officer at NoMo (the New Options More Opportunities Foundation). “Many of our populations suffer and are vulnerable because they are not equipped with the knowledge and resources to foster and increase their resiliency. There is a disconnect that exists between opportunities/resources available and the people that will benefit from them. It is wise to equip organizations and leaders that are already established and have a decent rapport with the community, with the arsenal of resources and information to deliver to the masses. It is the best way to ensure that support and relief is recognized and understood as an option by those who are trusted and aware of the unique needs of the populations.” 

“Blackwell Culture Alliance is excited and grateful to partner with the City of Philadelphia and the Office of Worker Protections to further educate community members about their rights,” said Thomas and Sajda Blackwell, Founders of the Blackwell Culture Alliance. “In 2023, our community members deeply benefited from having direct knowledge on labor laws that impact workers rights and in 2024, through our partnership with the Office of Worker Protections, we are looking to continue with our efforts to make tangible change and provide a better quality of life for businesses, employees and community members in West Philadelphia and abroad.”

The 2024 Community Outreach and Education Fund was the most competitive since the program’s launch. The ten awardees were selected by an impartial panel of City stakeholders, including representatives from the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Public Health, and City Council. The first Community Outreach and Education Fund was made possible through funding from the City of Philadelphia’s Operations Transformation Fund.