City of Phila., IBM announce efforts to improve workforce development
Mayor Michael A. Nutter and IBM announced a partnered effort to support workforce development by increasing the accessibility and functionality of the Digital On-Ramps initiative, a citywide collaborative aimed at providing "anytime, anywhere" learning and workforce training to Philadelphians. In total, IBM's donations to the City of Philadelphia to improve workforce development with new computers, software and the Smarter Cities Challenge grant report total more than $1 million.
"In order for Philadelphia to be a 21st century work-ready city, our workers need to be better prepared, educated and trained. Our partnership with IBM is an important first step in furthering existing initiatives and developing new solutions to improve workforce development," said Mayor Nutter. "IBM has essentially created a roadmap to guide our Administration's continuing efforts to build workforce development and education using digital technology."
The City of Philadelphia and its public partners will use technology to support existing literacy and workforce training programs. The strategies will help improve education and workforce training programs by:
- Enabling residents to access critical skills training anytime, anywhere via a smartphone or computer;
- Connecting them to other learners digitally and developing an online community to foster collaboration and peer learning;
- Helping them to identify what skills they need to find a job and where to get them; and
- Providing them with up-to-date information on how to access in-person skills training programs and other resources.
The new Digital On-Ramps model will utilize non-profit organizations, public and private partners to combat the growing disparity between workers skills and available jobs in Philadelphia. Over a four-year period, Digital On-Ramps aims to serve the 175,000 youth and adults already enrolled in the Philadelphia learning community.
As a part of the Smarter Cities Challenge grant, IBM specialists compiled a report on the state of workforce development of the City through interviews with city officials, employees and non-profit leaders. The findings have been assembled into a list of recommendations that the City of Philadelphia can use to improve the Digital On-Ramps initiative.
"Philadelphia is making an important effort to close the gap between skills and jobs and it's doing it in the right way – in a partnership that brings the private and public sectors together," said Stanley S. Litow, IBM's Vice President of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs and President, IBM International Foundation. "We look forward to continuing to partner with the city to help produce a more educated, employable, and prosperous citizenry."
In addition, IBM announced it would donate Reading Companion software to be installed on computers in 19 area recreation centers. Reading Companion employs voice recognition to listen and provide feedback to users to help them hone their reading skills. IBM also announced the donation of 100 Young Explorer computers to the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition. The computers will be used at several Freedom Rings public computer centers to help children learn math, science and language arts concepts.
Nelson Mandela, who became one of the world’s most beloved statesmen and a colossus of the 20th century when he emerged from 27 years in prison to negotiate an end to white minority rule in South Africa, has died. He was 95.
+ ROAD AND RIDES
If your arm goes numb and your speech is slurred, you know you need to seek immediate medical attention. When you nick yourself shaving, you know you can deal with it yourself. But for the vast number of maladies in between...
“I Am Troy Davis,” coauthored by Jen Marlowe and Davis’ sister Martina Davis-Correia, tells the intimate story of an ordinary man caught up in an inexorable tragedy. From his childhood in racially-charged Savannah; to the confused events that led to the 1989 shooting of a police officer...