Weekly Press: Nutter launches PhillyWorks

Weekly Press: Nutter launches PhillyWorks

New Program Aimed at Transitioning Part-Time Workers to Full Time Employment

On Monday, Mayor Michael A. Nutter launched PhillyWorks: Growing Neighborhood Jobs. It has been described as an innovative new program, designed to create an “employment ladder”, transitioning part-time seasonal workers to full time, year round employment and then hiring new workers, without a strong connection to the workforce, to fill the newly vacant part-time positions. Program participants will develop their job skills through career advancement classes, such as adult literacy, and career coaching services while they continue to work part time. After participants complete their career advancement classes, they will receive paid on-the-job training and are expected to find full-time jobs with Philadelphia-based companies engaged in the Workforce Investment Board’s (WIB) Industry Partnerships.

PhillyWorks: Growing Neighborhood Jobs leverages several funding streams, including American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) dollars, and coordinates efforts across several organizations and departments.

“Innovative programs that put people back to work like this are just what Philadelphia needs. This is an opportunity for under-employed workers to gain the skills they need to get a good-paying, full time jobs and for new workers to have fresh prospects for employment,” said Mayor Nutter. “PhillyWorks: Growing Neighborhood Jobs shows what is possible when everyone works together. By better aligning resources, we have been able to amplify the strengths and assets of multiple several agencies to create a pilot program that is stronger than the sum of its parts.”

The program will initially operate for 14 months and will serve approximately 90-120 individuals over two phases. Phase I began today and will run January 2010 to July 2010. Phase II will run July 2010 to January 2011. Program participants currently work with the Philadelphia Green Community Land Care Project and the Recreation Department “cleaning and greening” neighborhoods, but in the future the program may be expanded to other part time, seasonal workers.

“PhillyWorks reflects a new way of doing business in the city, and will have the kind of outcomes and impact we are looking for with our public investments,” said Philadelphia WIB CEO Sallie A. Glickman. “We are privileged to be managing this project, and are grateful to the Mayor and his team for taking the lead in building this groundbreaking collaboration.”

This program is collaboration between several organizations and departments including the WIB, the City of Philadelphia, represented by the Mayor’s Office, the Mayor’s Office of Community Services (MOCS) and the Commerce Department, PA CareerLink, the Philadelphia Workforce Development Corporation (PWDC), and workforce literacy providers. The Philadelphia WIB serves as the project manager, connects participants with Industry Partnerships, and leverages Career Opportunity Grant funds for the on-the-job training portion. The City of Philadelphia, represented by the Mayor’s Office, MOCS and the Commerce Department funds the part-time employment of participantsand leverages ARRA funded Community Service Block Grant dollars to support career advancement training. PA CareerLink helps career coaches in curricula development for the program, provides access to KeyTrain, and identifies employment opportunities for the participants. PWDC coordinates and manages the day-to-day program services, including career coaching of all participants. Workforce literacy providers give academic support to participants to ensure readiness to enter job specific training. Project staff is currently working to identify private funding sources to support an evaluation of the project.

Job-seekers looking to find out more about job training programs should contact their local PA Careerlink. Those looking to find out more about the “clean and green” program by the Philadelphia Green Community Land Care Project and the Recreation Department should contact the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

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