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Philadelphia Youth Network teams with Mayor Kenney to challenge city to support summer jobs

Mayor announces goal of 16,000 employment opportunities by 2020

Category: WorkReady | Mar 7, 2016

PHILADELPHIA (March 7, 2016) – In a press conference today, Mayor James Kenney and other city officials, businesses and philanthropies charged organizations from around Philadelphia to unite in a citywide effort to increase youth employment with a goal of reaching 16,000 summer job opportunities by 2020.

Mayor Kenney supports the city’s collective effort of encouraging local businesses to hire young people this summer. Mayor Kenney, in partnership with the Philadelphia Youth Network, managing partner of WorkReady Philadelphia, the city’s cross-sector youth development initiative, is encouraging Philadelphia businesses, partners and individuals to join the citywide campaign.

“In order to strengthen Philadelphia both socially and fiscally, we must have a workforce that is trained and prepared to work in the 21st century," said Mayor Kenney. “We have to work with our businesses to identify the skills, certifications, and training needed to enter the workforce, and prepare our young people to meet those needs." 

According to American Community Survey youth employment for 16 to 19 year olds in Philadelphia is lagging both state and national averages at 15.6 percent, behind Pennsylvania at 30.3 percent and the national average of 27.6 percent.

Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Youth Network, says in order to change the youth employment statistics, employers must see the larger benefits to hiring young people this summer.

“By providing a young person with a summer work opportunity, we are asking the City of Philadelphia to envision and support a prosperous future, which starts with access to opportunity for all of Philadelphia’s youth,” said Fulmore Townsend. “This is a chance for learning to happen both ways, young people are full of potential, they are creative, they have new insights. There is great value in connecting existing businesses with their future talent, which we have seen grow stronger each year.”

Fulmore Townsend recently spoke at the White House, Champions for Change event on the importance of youth employment and how businesses can stay engaged. To learn more about WorkReady Philadelphia, visit online at  


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