School District Partners with WorkReady to Offer Digital Summer Job Opportunities for Students
PHILADELPHIA — While many other large cities nationwide have canceled summer job programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the School District of Philadelphia will be one of more than 90 WorkReady partner organizations providing redesigned, paid digital opportunities aimed at enhancing students’ college and career readiness. WorkReady, managed by the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN), and the District remind students that there is still time to apply for safe summer employment opportunities this year.
“Just as we have been working hard to make digital learning possible for students through the end of the school year, we have also been planning ways to support students as they navigate summer employment during this challenging time,” said Superintendent William R. Hite, Ed.D. “We want to ensure that students have access to meaningful work experiences that will help them grow, even though these opportunities may look a little different this year. We are proud to continue to work with PYN as we help strengthen the workforce pipeline in Philadelphia.”
These experiences will focus on the following: digital career exposure, so students learn about various career opportunities based on their personal interests, abilities and aptitudes; financial literacy, to teach how money is earned, spent, saved and how to use financial resources; and digital literacy and brand identity, so students learn how to share, use and contribute to information through digital technologies.
“We’re proud to partner with The City of Philadelphia Office of Children and Families, Philadelphia Works and the School District of Philadelphia to ensure that our coordinated education and employment efforts continue this summer,” said Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, president and CEO, PYN. “We are #STILLin4WorkReady because these experiences help equip youth with the skills they need for the future of work.”
Thanks to the leadership of PYN, approximately 550 District students will participate in paid summer opportunities related to career and technical education, one aspect of PYN programming. Approximately 250 students will participate in career preparation summer internships and an entrepreneurship program where students will learn concepts such as presentation skills, targeting a market, and finance and budgets. Another 300 students will either participate in a middle school Career and Technical Education exploration program, or gain work experience related to the following industries: communications, business/finance/accounting, construction trades and agriculture.
In summer 2019, approximately 3500 District students participated in PYN programming.
Both the District and PYN will continue to monitor local, state and federal guidelines to determine if a transition to in-person experiences is feasible this summer. The health and safety of all individuals involved remain the highest priorities.
There are three ways to get involved at workready.org:
Apply if you are between 12-24 living in Philadelphia.
Hire young people virtually this summer. PYN can help organizations think this through.
Donate to the Philly Summer Jobs fund. Every dollar helps to create as many opportunities as possible this summer.
Working papers are not required to participate in incentive-based digital experiences through WorkReady. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the District’s Office of Career and Technical Education will issue working papers to students ages 14 to 18 for other opportunities through appointment only on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. In-person appointments will take place at the District’s Education Center located at 440 N. Broad St. Everyone is required to wear a face covering and practice social distancing. Appointment request forms can be found online.
The District is also creating a process that will allow minors to obtain their working papers through a virtual application in which they will apply online and virtually meet. The Working Paper Blue Card will be mailed to students. Students and their families should monitor the District’s website at philasd.org for updates on this process.
Over the past year, the School District and City have been collaborating closely on the design of a citywide Career Connected Learning system to support opportunities for all students to participate in internships, job shadowing and other forms of work experience designed to inspire and prepare them for post-secondary success. Together, they are engaging employers, higher education partners, and workforce development experts to help identify and scale high quality opportunities for students to explore career options and gain a realistic understanding of workplace expectations and the credentials required to be successful in the career fields that interest them. While both the City and District are facing tremendous and unexpected challenges in the wake of COVID-19, preparing students with the skills required to compete in an increasingly competitive economy is more important now than ever before, and WorkReady is directly aligned to that goal.