Category: WorkReady | May 19, 2016
PHILADELPHIA (May 19, 2016) – Today members of the private sector rallied together in support of summer jobs at a press conference co-hosted by Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN), managing partner of WorkReady Philadelphia, the city's cross-sector campaign which focuses on creating systemic approaches to addressing the skills gap for Philadelphia's hardest to serve youth.
PYN announced a gap of $5.4 million in funding needed to reach the city's goal of supporting 10,000 summer work experiences, which was the number of opportunities that were provided last summer. Thus far, the investments from the private sector is projected to reach $2 million towards summer jobs, and today was charged with committing an additional $1 million. To reach this goal, PYN President and CEO, Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend cautioned that summer was right around the corner, and time is running out.
"Time is of the essence," said Fulmore-Townsend. "Memorial Day is next week, and then it's only a few short weeks of June until the program begins on July 5. These additional investments are more crucial now than ever before. As the adults in this community it is our job to step up for our young people, and that time is right now."
President and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Rob Wonderling, also spoke at the press conference on behalf of the private sector.
"Businesses in Philadelphia have always engaged and acted on hiring young people for summer jobs, and always will," said Wonderling. "Giving our city's youth the chance to develop their skills and abilities in a professional work setting helps create the opportunity for their success in the future. It also helps makes Philadelphia more economically competitive. When our business community invests in our young people by hiring them for summer employment, we are positioning them for brighter futures – and our city and region as well."
Managing Director of the City of Philadelphia under Mayor Jim Kenney, Michael DiBerardinis, said that summer jobs are a priority for the City of Philadelphia, echoing Wonderling's sentiments on the value of public and private partnerships.
"Two months ago Mayor Kenney established a goal of 16,000 jobs by the end of his first term in 2020," said DiBerardinis. "Reaching 10,000 this summer is the first step to achieving his goal, which we know might seem like an uphill battle, but is possible when the public and private sectors come together like we've seen them do in the past."
Investments in summer work experiences can be made online by visiting phillysummerjobs.org/#join.