Philadelphia Youth Network’s motto is “Investing in tomorrow’s workforce today!” Since we know that job and career opportunities and success are interlinked with education and networking, PYN is uniquely positioned to create these essential pathways for youth with the partnerships they’ve created between schools and employers.
PYN was incorporated in 1999 and has a multitude of programs, but their main focus is on two city-wide strategies aimed towards fulfilling their motto. The first is WorkReady Philadelphia and the second is Project U-Turn. The WorkReady Philadelphia system includes a summer component for youth ages 14-21 to engage in service learning, work experience or internships through local companies. According to the PYN website “interns participate in a weekly series of professional development workshops which focus on career exploration and aptitude assessment, work-readiness, and college-preparation. Youth also complete a work-based learning project or portfolio.” If you are interested in being an employer or sponsoring an intern for a $1,600 contribution, please contact YPN. You can also support this valuable summer internship program with a $5 donation by texting the word “intern” to 50555. These WorkReady programs can open doors to future career choices and opportunities for our youth and help make their (and our) future brighter. Be a part of it!
Some other facets of the WorkReady Philadelphia system are shadowing Days for 9thgraders, Industry days for 10thgraders, the 21stCentury Continuum for 11thand 12thgraders, and an Occupational Skills training program for youth ages 17-21 that are not currently enrolled in a secondary school.
As described on YPN’s website, “Project U-Turn is a citywide campaign to understand, focus public attention on and, most importantly, resolve Philadelphia’s dropout crisis. It is led by a citywide collaborative whose members include representatives of the School District, City agencies, foundations, youth-serving organizations, parents and young people themselves. The collaborative is managed by the Philadelphia Youth Network, and operates as a subcommittee of the Philadelphia Council for College and Career Success.”
Project U-Turn is a recipient of the Bright Ideas award by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Project U-turn was recognized, along with 35 others in the nation, as “innovative and creative programs that address a host of pertinent and societal issues.” Quite some recognition!
The program offers re-engagement centers, occupational training, an adult diploma program and a GED-to-college program. Their focus is on creating the many different pathways to an education. The website contains a lot of research and articles on the cost of dropping out and a study on the link between education and earnings plus a study on halving the dropout rate in Philadelphia. It’s all a must read for anyone who cares about the future of Philadelphia (and that should be all of us!).
While PYN’s mission is lofty, we all have a vested interest in the outcome that “all of Philadelphia’s young people will take their rightful places as full and contributing members of a world-class workforce for the region.”
Contact PYN at http://www.pyninc.org
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