Summer youth program in Philly reaches 10,000-job milestone

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 (NewsWorks file photo)

(NewsWorks file photo)

The city of Philadelphia is happy with the results of its summer jobs program. 

Mayor Nutter spoke recently to a group of young people who participated in the program, saying the ability to hold a job is a good learning experience and gives youth some spending money as well. 

Dyranha Gnep, one of 10,000 youth to land a job as part of the program, worked at a smoothie store in Center City. The work gave him confidence as well as a paycheck.

“It improves the way I communicate with people because when I communicate with my peers, sometimes it’s a little harsh,” he said. “So this, because I deal with all different types of personalities at the store, you need to know how to address them so that they leave with the best experience possible.”

Kimberly Berger, who owns a food truck and a smoothie store in Philadelphia, said working with the young people was a great experience.  

“They like to come to work, they have some exuberance about them.  It’s their first job, they want to make their parents proud,” she said. “They are very trainable, coachable, willing to do the extra things, including cleaning — the things that are not so pretty that happen behind the scenes in a store.”

The mayor called on all businesses in the city to take the challenge next year and expand the reach of the program so more youth can have the experience.  If participants call on their suppliers to help out, he said, the 10,000 opportunities could double. 

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