From our President and CEO
Autumn represents a mixture of many things to people, from letting go and accepting impermanence to the beginning of a new life cycle. At PYN, the Fall is a true time of renewal. With the accomplishments of summer 2017 energizing us, we look forward to new innovations and improvements as we say goodbye to another summer and begin new undertakings through innovation.

Fall is my favorite time of year, I love the novelty of the "back to school" season and the way a cool breeze reminds me of the ability to begin again, to set new goals and create new expectations for success. As we reflect upon the past summer with a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment, we also recognize the necessary improvements we must embrace to improve program quality and grow our impact. With final numbers to be released in the weeks to come, WorkReady provided more than 7,000 work experiences for young people in Philadelphia. We were able to meet 660 participants at our second annual WorkReady Celebrations Tour. Our tour provided an intimate experience that highlighted the variety of our young people's unique experiences to more than 100 supporters who attended. And most importantly, we saw another year of the impact of WorkReady helping to shape our City's future workforce.

Although summer jobs have ended for the year, our efforts to alleviate poverty and inequity and increase youth employment continues. PYN has three pilot programs designed to introduce new services that address our local needs, including addressing career readiness and attachment like the Hub at PA CareerLink® West and Pathways to Justice Careers. The Hub at PA CareerLink® West brings together community resources to connect young people in the West Philadelphia Promise Zone with employment and education opportunities. Pathways to Justice Careers connects eligible in-school youth with supports needed to successfully enter career pathways in the criminal justice and/or emergency services fields. These innovative pilot programs help us develop strategies to discover promising practices to scale programs and improve outcomes for vulnerable young people.

We are excited to release a brand new pilot opportunity with a new strategy for youth employment within the youth workforce development system. On August 21, PYN released a new request for proposals for the WorkReady pre-apprenticeship pilot that will strengthen access to registered apprenticeships leading to better opportunities and encouraging the growth of career pathway opportunities for disconnected young people. These pre-apprenticeships serve a critical role by helping participants acquire career-specific skills, advance work-readiness and connect them to longer-term career opportunities.

As part of our 2020 Vision, one of our roles is to drive innovation and accelerate change. Our accompanying goal is to develop and scale three pilots for vulnerable populations with one or more barriers to education and employment, locally and nationally. Please stay tuned for an update of our 2020 Vision progress.
Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend
PYN releases RFP for 
WorkReady pre-apprenticeship pilot
To implement pre-apprenticeship programs that strengthen access to registered apprenticeships for low-income and under-served youth, the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) with the support of Philadelphia Works, Inc. (PWI) is seeking proposals from organizations dedicated to encouraging the growth of career pathway opportunities for disconnected young people. Pre-apprenticeships that target high-growth, high-vacancy, or emerging regional industries are highly encouraged. The RFP was made available on Monday, August 21, 2017. Letters of intent were due on September 15 and proposals are due by noon on October 16.

SummerNewsWorkReady Summer in the news
This summer, WorkReady was featured across a variety of media outlets highlighting the great work and successes of our participants. Check out some of the media coverage below surrounding a variety of unique experiences that WorkReady provides.
Project U-Turn sponsors The Notebook's Alternative Pathways to Education Success 

Project U-Turn sponsored The Philadelphia Public School Notebook's summer 2017 edition focusing on alternative pathways to education success. The edition featured articles around increasing graduation rates as well as highlighting the various options that young people have to earn a secondary credential.
industryIndustry Highlights
What's Working:
The Superior High School Diploma
America's Promise launched "What's Working," a series that showcases promising practices for closing the graduation gap. In this series, a report titled, "Paper thin? Why all high school diplomas are not created equal," released by  Alliance for Excellent Education was highlighted. This report looks at nearly 100 different types of diplomas across the U.S. and found that less than half of the graduates leave college and career ready. It also found that CCR (college- and career-ready) diplomas are substantially lower among low-income families, students of color and other traditionally underserved populations.

Building pathways to credentials, careers and economic mobility
Jobs For the Future (JFF) recognizes the critical education, workforce development and employment challenges that need to be addressed. In response to those challenges faced, JFF created a blueprint for how federal policies can provide youth and young adults with access to essential skills and credentials needed for labor force success including:
  1. Aligning systems for college, career and economic success
  2. Reforming student aid and supports
  3. Creating innovative solutions for post-secondary programming and student success
  4. Connecting education to workforce success
campaignOur Work
Fellows selected to advance priority areas of Project U-Turn
With the support of the William Penn Foundation, Project U-Turn has selected two of three fellows who will work with key system partners. Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) will host a Fellow to advance strategies focused on three sub-populations of youth facing disproportionately high disengagement rates. These include system-involved youth, justice involved youth and parenting teens. The Fellow will identify specific strategies and remedies to reduce the number of students who disconnect and increase the rate of re-engagement for young people in each population. The School District of Philadelphia Opportunity Network will host a Fellow to advance the strategies to increase student retention rates of re-engaged students, leading to more students graduating from the Multiple Pathways program.
Project U-Turn's bi-annual stakeholder briefing
Project U-Turn, an alliance that unifies partners to increase the graduation rate and prepare young people for future opportunities will be holding stakeholder briefings bi-annually. During the June 12 meeting:
  • Project U-Turn revealed two new goals
  • Rashaan Brooks of Philadelphia Young Playwrights shared his monologue titled "Not Ready
  • A panel discussion was held
Stay tuned for more information about our next Project U-Turn stakeholder briefing.
Download Renewed Commitment
WorkReady Summer 2017 Celebrations Tour
WorkReady Summer 2017 has come to a close, with final numbers to be released later this fall. Roughly 7,000 young people, ages 12-21 were provided with a work experience this summer. The impact of summer jobs is greater than you'd expect and not all summer jobs looked the same. Although WorkReady is best known for its internships, it provides a continuum of models represented across various industries at roughly 900 worksites. On August 3 and 10, PYN boarded buses for the second annual WorkReady Celebrations Tour to #CELEBRATEWR. The tour visited 10 worksites throughout Philadelphia and highlighted 660 young people who were able to showcase what they accomplished this summer.
PYN releases WorkReady video
With the support from Philadelphia's Department of Commerce, PYN created a video about how WorkReady benefits our young people, communities, businesses and City overall. Watch the video below!

Pathways to Justice Careers celebrates a successful summer
Pathways to Justice Careers is a two-year pilot that connects eligible in-school youth with supports needed to successfully enter career pathways in the criminal justice and/or emergency services fields. This summer, young people enrolled in the program had a work experience. Two of the participants who interned at the First Judicial District of PA were hired in a part-time capacity and will continue to work during their after school hours. For more information on the Pathways to Justice Careers program, email Project Manager, Raymond Jones at
Post-Secondary Bridging pilot bridges 20 students to community college
Post-Secondary Bridging is a three-year pilot that enhances post-secondary success among Philadelphia's opportunity youth. This Fall, nearly 20 students are bridging to the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) to take their first college course! This cohort is twice the size of any previous cohort bridging to CCP. Students were eager to begin their college experience and have started their semester with strong support from the program's College Success Coaches.
PYN's Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend participates in inaugural African American Leadership Development Forum
Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend was a part of the inaugural African American Leadership Development Forum. The five-month series graduated its first cohort in June. The forum is supported by United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, the Urban League and the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute at Bryn Mawr College and was created in response to the findings of a study commissioned by the Philadelphia African American Leadership Forum and supported by United Way and the Urban Affairs Coalition. The study looked at the differences between African American-led nonprofits and their white-led counterparts.
PYN's Board Chair, Jeff Brown, recognized as National Fund for Workforce Solutions 2017 Young Adult Employer champion
Congratulations to Jeff Brown and Brown's SuperStores, Inc. for being recognized at the National Fund for Workforce Solutions 2017 Leadership Convening in Philadelphia. Seven employers were honored as young adult employer champions. These employers were recognized for providing high-quality jobs and successfully hiring and retaining 18-25 year-old young adults.
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