News Article

PYN News Article

Philadelphia Unites to Prevent Summer Jobs Crisis

Thousands of young people will work this summer despite lowest funding projections since WorkReady's inception

Category: WorkReady | Jul 1, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (July 1, 2014) - Following a daunting summer jobs crisis, local and national investors united to nearly double available funds, allowing thousands of young people to join the Philadelphia workforce.  Today marks the start of WorkReady Philadelphia's summer programming.  WorkReady provides employment experiences and career exposure opportunities for young people, ages 12-21 who will work in a variety of settings including corporations, small businesses, nonprofits and government entities.


In January, funding projections indicated Philadelphia was facing a summer jobs crisis, with only enough funding available to serve less than 4,000 young people - the lowest forecasted number since WorkReady's inception in 2003.  Mayor Michael A. Nutter and other city officials sprang into action by raising awareness and funds by launching the 2014 Summer Jobs Challenge.


"Since 2008, I have challenged businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals to come together to support WorkReady Philadelphia to provide valuable work experience, practical knowledge and leadership skills for young Philadelphians," said Mayor Nutter. "For this year I'm happy to report that Philadelphia responded in a major way and far exceeded our projections. I want to thank the many employers, foundations, businesses and individuals who came together in support of Philadelphia's young people."


Since January, both the private and public sectors united to collectively raise enough funds to support at least 7,600 summer work experiences this year, which is the same as the number of experiences offered in 2013.    


For a complete list of WorkReady 2014 investors, visit


Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN), managing partner of WorkReady Philadelphia said, "We know that the work of preparing young people for success is too big of a job for any one person or institution - and I am proud of the tremendous, collective efforts our entire city has made this year on behalf of young people.  At a time when opportunities for young people are scarce, it is more important than ever that we are investing in their future and helping to prepare them to be the rightful leaders of tomorrow. I personally thank everyone who invested in WorkReady this year, as we are not only impacting the lives of young people in our City, but also the future economic vitality of our region."


Kayla Gonzales, a 2014 graduate at Academy at Palumbo High School, had an internship last summer through WorkReady with the African American Museum.  She reflected on her experience and said, "Since being involved with WorkReady, I've grown personally and professionally by learning how to have a successful job interview, how to properly write a resume, how to dress appropriately for a job and much more. This opportunity provided me with the basics on how to get and maintain a job, and I know the skills I learned with the program will always be a benefit to me."


WorkReady summer and year-round programs will culminate with the WorkReady Expo, an annual event that celebrates the accomplishments of youth and the outstanding projects they created during their participation in WorkReady programs. The Expo will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Wednesday, August 6.


Additionally, employers in the city can continue to support the 2014 Summer Jobs Challenge by letting the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) know if they currently hire high school aged youth at their business/organization during the summer. Providing this information will allow them the opportunity to be recognized them for their investment in the future workforce of Philadelphia.  To do so, please contact


About WorkReady Philadelphia

WorkReady Philadelphia is the city's workforce preparation system for youth and young adults, supported by investments from government, local and national philanthropies and Greater Philadelphia employers.  WorkReady is overseen by the Philadelphia Council for College and Career Success, a committee of the Philadelphia Works board. Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) serves as the managing partner and works with more than 50 organizations to operate WorkReady programs across the city. PYN also partners with the City of Philadelphia, the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Main Line Chamber of Commerce, Philadelphia Academies, Inc., the School District of Philadelphia, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and The Urban Affairs Coalition to recruit investors to offer opportunities for youth through WorkReady. For more information about WorkReady, go to


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