News Article

PYN News Article

WorkReady Philadelphia salutes 250 Philadelphia-area executives for hiring local students

Philadelphia partnership thanks local employers for helping improve workforce

Category: PYN | Nov 1, 2004

PHILADELPHIA, PA (November 17, 2004) – The Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board and its Youth Council celebrated hundreds of executives from local companies who participated in WorkReady Philadelphia, the City’s new system to prepare young people for productive employment.

The First Annual WorkReady Leaders Reception at the Top of the Tower was held to thank participating employers who have hired interns, hosted youth shadowing days and otherwise supported a variety of WorkReady Philadelphia programs. Through these initiatives, employers are given the opportunity to invest in youth workforce development and the economic growth of the City of Philadelphia. The celebration represented an unprecedented level of coordination among organizations across the city concerned with youth workforce development, and documented the progress being made to provide employers with clear and efficient ways to help young people become effective employees.

“WorkReady Philadelphia employers realize that an investment in our city’s youth is the most important investment we can make,” said George Davis, Senior Vice President of Lincoln Financial Group and Chairman of the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board. “We continuously hear from participating companies how thrilled they are with the student interns from this program and, more importantly, these youth gain real-world, hands-on experience that will help them to become successful, productive members of our workforce.”

WorkReady Philadelphia is one of the Workforce Investment Board’s strategic priorities, spearheaded by the PWIB’s Youth Council and administered by the Philadelphia Youth Network. This event marked the second year of successful partnership with private sector, city government, youth serving organizations and the School District of Philadelphia to enhance workforce preparation opportunities for Philadelphia’s youth. WorkReady connects existing federal, state and foundation funded programs while bringing additional private sector resources to support these efforts. The program also supports education by motivating students and giving them reasons to stay in school.

Pamela A. Crawley, chair of Philadelphia Youth Council and Senior Vice President of Citizens Bank opened the program along with George Davis. Their welcome was followed by remarks from two young beneficiaries of WorkReady programs: Duong Nguyen, a senior at Kensington High School who spoke about his internship last summer at the Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Company and how it led to a part-time job during the school year, and Adrienne Stinson, a graduate of Strawberry Mansion High School and currently a student at Community College of Philadelphia. Adrienne spoke of her internship with Independence Blue Cross, and the supports she’s received through the Achieving Independence Center.

Lyn Kremer, publisher of the Philadelphia Business Journal, was the featured speaker. She spoke about the enthusiasm of current employers participating in WorkReady and encouraged additional employers to get involved. Dr. Creg Williams, Deputy Chief Academic Officer of the School District of Philadelphia represented CEO Paul Vallas, who serves as co-chair of WorkReady Philadelphia. Dr. Williams presented awards to Crawley and Davis as well as to Peggy Shane from Independence Blue Cross for their leadership in WorkReady and for expanding the numbers of opportunities for Philadelphia’s youth.

“It is unprecedented to have this many organizations and companies working together to create opportunities for the youth of this city and work towards the ultimate goal of improving Philadelphia’s future workforce,” said Pamela A. Crawley. “WorkReady Philadelphia and all the programs under the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board are being met with results, enthusiasm, and deep appreciation from the students we work with and the companies that participate in our programs.”

Dr. Williams thanked the employers on behalf of Mr. Vallas and his co-chairs for WorkReady Philadelphia’s employer recruitment campaign, Mayor John F. Street and Jon A. Boscia, Chairman and CEO of Lincoln Financial Group. Closing the program was Lovell Harmon, Vice President at AmeriChoice of Pennsylvania, an event sponsor and new WorkReady supporter this year. Mr. Harmon cited the benefits of youth in the workplace to companies and their employees and urged more companies to get involved.

WorkReady Philadelphia serves over 7,500 youth each year though a variety of programs including 300 students placed last year in new private sector summer internships. These Employer-Paid Summer Internships are a new effort to boost private-sector investment through a summer jobs youth program, which offers career exposure and enrichment with trained worksite mentors, pre-employment training and portfolios demonstrating skill development. The Summer Career Exploration Program also provides enhanced summer internships in community businesses, supported by the William Penn Foundation, and 19 other local foundations. Business Mentoring Youth provides school-year internships to sophomores in high school and Shadowing or Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Days offer one day of career exposure and worksite visits. The Marriott Bridges from school to work program provides work experience for youth with disabilities. The Achieving Independence Center supports youth aging out of foster care through internships, mentoring, employment, and training. Other career exposure activities that provide employers opportunities to get involved include the Career Week and the Nano Fair. Through WorkReady, these programs have come together under one umbrella along with YouthWorks, the federally funded program that uses project based learning and focuses on workforce development, community service and college preparation.

About WorkReady Philadelphia
WorkReady Philadelphia is a city-wide, year-round effort to provide 14 to 21 year old youth with the preparation they need to succeed in the world of work. It is a coordinated system of programs which is building an infrastructure to support a city-wide youth workforce development system that will prepare them to become productive citizens. WorkReady Philadelphia is an initiative of the Youth Council of the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board.

About the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board
The Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board’s oversees the City’s $300 million public workforce investment system. The purpose of the workforce system is to promote the economic development strategies of the region, assess and attach people to jobs with needed services for long-term career growth leading to self-sufficiency, and respond to employer needs. The Youth Council is a committee of the WIB and focuses on investments in youth workforce development.

About the Philadelphia Youth Network
The Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) is a non-profit intermediary organization dedicated to youth workforce development and designed to align programs, systems and resources that promote academic achievement, career success and productive citizenship for all 14 to 21 year-old youth residing in the City of Philadelphia. PYN staffs the Youth Council and oversees the administrative functions of the WorkReady initiative. PYN is a founding partner and member of the National Intermediary Network, a peer-led association of leading education and workforce development organizations working in local communities to ensure the success of youth.

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