More than 400 youth gathered at the Pennsylvania Convention Center for the WorkReady Summer Expo 2012, marking the successes of the young people who participated as part of the 10,000 Summer Jobs Challenge. (Photo via Philadelphia Youth Network)
This spring, WorkReady Philadelphia, the city’s collaborative effort to connect youth with employers for summer jobs, was in danger of placing the lowest number of youth since the program was created in 2003. The reason for the shortfall was that fewer companies had committed to hiring or subsidizing the hiring of the over 8,000 youth that applied.
WorkReady projected in April that it would connect 4,500 youth with jobs, compared to nearly 8,000 in 2013. The numbers look very different today. With the help of Mayor Nutter’s Summer Jobs Challenge — a call to private investors to contribute — the program was able to attract local and national investors and raise the number of available jobs to 7,600. Businesses and individual donors were able to add a position for $1,700.
The list of investors for 2014 includes large national banks, such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo, and local nonprofits, such as Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha and the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, as well as many more businesses and organizations.
There will be an event on August 6 at the Convention Center to celebrate the youth that have gone through WorkReady’s summer and year-round programs.
WorkReady is a partnership between the Philadelphia Youth Network, Philadelphia Works and the Philadelphia Council for College and Career Success.
Generocity’s previous feature story on the program’s shortfall is available here.-30-
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