This week, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded the City of Philadelphia a $2 million Summer Jobs and Beyond Grant, which will provide summer and year-round part-time job opportunities for in-school youth, as well as year-round employment and work experience for young people who are out of school. The City was selected as one of 11 communities nationwide that will receive a total of $21 million in Summer Jobs and Beyond grants.
“The City of Philadelphia was thrilled to hear about this federal award to support employment opportunities for young people,” said Commerce Director Harold T. Epps. “Employment experiences early on can be a life-changer for young people and will be of tremendous value to the city. Youth employment stimulates our local economy, creates safer communities and can help fill the pipeline of employer demand.”
Philadelphia Works, Inc., will administer the grant through PA CareerLink® Philadelphia: Youth & Young Adult Opportunity Hub (YOH/theHub) project. The Hub will target 250 youth ages 14 to 16 in the Philadelphia area.
“A summer job is the one of the most important life experiences a young person can have,” said Mark Edwards, President and CEO of Philadelphia Works. “This funding will provide meaningful employment, education and training opportunities for over 200 youth in our city. On behalf of the staff and directors of Philadelphia Works, we thank the US Department of Labor for their tremendous support.”
Core community partners include the Philadelphia Youth Network as the summer and year-round operator, Drexel University and the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce as employment partners, the School District of Philadelphia Reengagement Center as the reengagement center, the Mayor’s Office of Empowerment and Opportunity as lead Promise Zone partner and the School District of Philadelphia Office of Technical Education as the local education agency.
“We could not be more excited to collaborate with such a committed group of partners to launch this initiative,” says Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Youth Network. “This project will not only bring together existing community resources to connect youth with summer and year-round employment and education opportunities, but it will also provide them in a centralized location, with the individualized supports youth need to succeed. We are thrilled to be leading the development and coordination of this effort, as well as ensuring connections between our youth and local business community.”
In February, the White House launched the Summer Opportunity Project to increase the number of young Americans participating in evidence-based summer opportunity programs, decrease the percentage of youth experiencing violence over the summer, and ensure that young Americans have the support they need to get their first job. This work builds on the President’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force recommendation strengthening the case for summer youth employment and launching a cross-sector campaign to reduce summer learning loss and increase the number of job and internship opportunities for all young people.