PHILADELPHIA — The City’s Department of Commerce today announced its latest investment through the Workforce Solutions Grant, selecting four new organizations to develop innovative workforce solutions for local job seekers to prepare for and connect to sustainable career pathways that pay a living wage. The Workforce Solutions Grant invests in programs from organizations that strive to elevate evidence-informed approaches to address specific challenges Black, brown, and other historically disadvantaged Philadelphia residents face when preparing for and entering the workforce.

“These investments strengthen our commitment to bridging economic disparities and creating innovation pathways to careers within growth industries that benefit local workers. We remain laser-focused on quality jobs— with family-sustaining wages, benefits, and a path to economic mobility,” said Mayor Cherelle L. Parker. “The Workforce Solutions Grant is one of the responses to support the workforce needs of residents and businesses. These awardees are well-equipped and ready to help us advance equitable workforce development in Philadelphia. I am grateful for the intergovernmental efforts including with the Department of Commerce to ensure residents can feel and see our commitment towards economic opportunity for all.”

“The Workforce Solutions Grant is one of our vital investments to address the talent needs of employers, increase access to workforce training opportunities for residents and to grow the economy. The Department of Commerce continues to convene workforce partners, support the talent needs of employers, and increase equitable access to training opportunities for Philadelphians of all ages and backgrounds,” said Alba Martinez, Director of Commerce, City of Philadelphia.  “Together, we envision workforce alliances that help develop and execute talent solutions in Philadelphia. We extend our deepest gratitude to these four awardees for the vital partnership as we elevate economic mobility in our city.”

The Department of Commerce Division of Workforce Solutions convenes organizations that help connect Philadelphia residents to careers within growth industries. This includes a focus on Philadelphians who lack a high school credential, as well as residents with limited digital proficiency, lack of foundational employability skills, and/or those in need of industry-recognized credentials.  Across our portfolio of initiatives, the City of Philadelphia is committed to ensuring our work elevates, prioritizes, and serves the needs of Black, brown and other historically disadvantaged Philadelphia residents.

“These past four years, we have invested in organizations that develop innovative workforce solutions through the Workforce Solutions Grant which advances Philadelphia as the talent hub of the future,” said Gianna Grossmann, Senior Director of Workforce Development, Office of Business Development and Workforce Solutions.  “The Workforce Solutions team looks forward to partnering with this new cohort of awardees to support them in connecting Philadelphians of multicultural backgrounds to careers with family-sustaining wages.”


The following four organizations have been selected to receive a combined $1.15 Million in funding through the Workforce Solutions Grant with efforts to begin in March 2024.

  • Propel America: Medical Assistant Philadelphia Pathway will use these funds to offer an 8-month cohort-based program for fellows to become medical assistants. Propel America partners with National Louis University (NLU), a higher education institution with a track record of online education and supporting learners from lower-income backgrounds. These funds will expand their technical certificate-to-bachelor’s degree pathway program where students can earn stackable, competency-based credentials alongside earning college credits. The total grant award is $250,000.


  • Hopeworks & Rodriguez University: Infrastructure Bootcamp will use these funds to equip participants for apprenticeship roles within City government. In partnership with the Office of Human Resources, the Department of Commerce is co-investing in this program to build out a new pathway dedicated to roles in the Department of Streets and Philadelphia Water Department. This program focuses on technology, surveying, and leadership principles. Through a comprehensive education and practical on-the-job training, Hopeworks program participants will be engaged in the Infrastructure Bootcamp program offered by Rodriguez University. The total grant award is $450,000.


  • OIC Philadelphia – Building Jobs of the Future will use these funds to help participants acquire the necessary skills to work in healthcare settings such as hospitals, clinics, and medical offices. OIC Philadelphia’s healthcare programs offer comprehensive training in the healthcare field which includes phlebotomy training, Clinical Medical Assistant certification, and Administrative Medical Assistant training. The wrap-around services include re-entry support, mental health support, stipends and incentives, transportation assistance, career development, employment placement. The total grant award is $250,000.


  • Congreso de Latinos Unidos will use these funds to expand their Human Services Career Pathway program that enables students to obtain an industry-recognized Strengths-Based Family Worker (SFW) credential from Temple University–Harrisburg. Congreso will continue developing the partnership with Peirce College, enhance program offerings as a Registered Pre-Apprenticeship and Registered Apprenticeship pipeline, and provide additional support to students to alleviate barriers to success in the program. Students gain critical knowledge on topics such as organization and time management, project management basics, and case management skills. Students also receive career readiness skills, digital literacy instruction, financial literacy, and job placement assistance. The total grant award is $200,000.

“Commerce works with partners to make Philadelphia a great place to do business. We aim to attract international and domestic companies while supporting the expansion of those that are already here. This includes convening workforce partners for quality job opportunities across all business sectors,” said Dawn Summerville, Deputy Commerce Director, Office of Business Development and Workforce Solutions. “Philadelphia is filled with world-class growth industries. The Workforce Solutions Grant helps advance access to work readiness in Philadelphia by collaborating with high-impact organizations focused on developing and executing talent solutions. This initiative is part of our ongoing strategy for Philadelphia to be a more economically competitive destination where employers flock, companies thrive, and innovation abounds.”

The Workforce Solutions Grant is a key initiative that began as part of the Workforce Respond and Recharge 2021 Commitment, which is a collaborative effort by the City, led by the Department of Commerce, along with its workforce development partners including Philadelphia Works and PIDC. More information about the Workforce Professional Alliance available here.