News Article

PYN News Article

Philadelphia Youth Network convenes executive breakfast to commend local investor support and strategize the future of WorkReady Philadelphia

Public and private sector support yielded more than 10,000 year round and summer opportunities for youth through WorkReady in 2015

Category: WorkReady | Dec 7, 2015

Philadelphia (December 7, 2015) - In November leaders across Philadelphia’s business and philanthropic sectors joined Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) to celebrate the valued investments that contributed to successful summer and year-round work experiences for youth through WorkReady Philadelphia, the city's system for youth workforce preparation. The combined efforts of the private, public and nonprofit sectors yielded high-quality workplace experiences for more than 10,000 young people this year.

Mayor Michael A. Nutter served as the opening speaker for the event, showing support for the summer jobs initiative since his tenure began in 2008. This summer, the City of Philadelphia invested more than $5 million in summer programming, with investments from the Department of Human Services and Parks and Recreation.

“Summer and year-round youth employment offers young Philadelphians the chance to develop personally and professionally, gaining skills, experience and insight into a future career field,” said Mayor Nutter. “Over the last eight years, our Administration has made providing youth employment opportunities a main focus, investing dollars, hosting interns and serving as a vocal promoter of WorkReady around the City. But the City is only one of many supporters who make WorkReady a success. Thanks to the generosity of the business and philanthropic community and state and federal partners, WorkReady has helped thousands of young people each year.”

Due to the support of several city and state-wide partners, including the City of Philadelphia and the office of Governor Tom Wolf, WorkReady was able to provide 10,818 total year round experiences for youth, with 8,812 youth participating in summer programming alone. These opportunities were created by local business and philanthropic communities within 1,043 worksites across 18 different industries citywide. The number of youth who received opportunities on behalf of WorkReady this year, is greater than the number of opportunities that were available last year. Praising that victory, PYN President and CEO, Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, says the collaboration of the public and private sectors are one of the major reasons behind the triumph.

"To surpass our projections and exceed last years' service levels, it took a citywide effort of our public and private sectors, which makes this system not only successful, but unique,” said Fulmore-Townsend. “As a WorkReady collaborative comprised of employers, school district officials, government entities and philanthropic networks, we came together to ensure young people in Philadelphia are prepared to tackle the challenges of a 21st century workforce, which is something is I am proud to continue for years to come.

Also speaking at the executive breakfast was Pennsylvania and Philadelphia President of Bank of America, WorkReady’s largest 2015 summer employer, Tom Woodward.

“Early work experiences are the key to a successful future,” said Woodward. “If we can work together to teach and mentor the young people in our community, we’re not only improving their lives, but strengthening the overall community, as well. It’s through programs like this, that we’re able to create a pipeline for employment opportunities and help ensure a brighter financial future for our city.”

Bank of America supported 73 interns this summer and has invested nearly $500,000 in the program since 2007.

Strategies for continuing these efforts were also charged by Mike DiBerardinis, current Deputy Mayor and Commissioner for Environmental and Community Resources with the City of Philadelphia, and soon to be, Managing Director for Mayor Elect, Jim Kenney.

“High quality early work experience for teens builds a skilled workforce, promotes an engaged citizenry and improves the economic strength of Philadelphia,” said DiBerardinis. “WorkReady is really moving the needle on generating more positive and engaging outlets for youth to better themselves; this work will remain a priority for our city.”

During the executive breakfast, WorkReady collateral illustrating the realities of youth employment locally and nationally was shared, and can also be found here. To learn more about WorkReady Philadelphia, visit online at


About WorkReady Philadelphia

WorkReady Philadelphia is a citywide, cross-sector campaign focused on creating systemic approaches to address the skills gap for vulnerable youth. Our host of employers, schools, community based organizations, advocacy groups, labor unions and private investors work together to produce consistent outcomes which demonstrate programmatic impact.

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