Philly’s youth unemployment rate has been hovering between 14 and 16 percent for the past few years — and that number jumps by 10 points when considering youth of color.
One way to tackle the issue? Prepare those young people for employment and then connect them to job opportunities. Seems pretty simple, right?
Since 1999, Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) has been equipping 12- to 24-year-olds with the tools to be successful in the workforce. Through initiatives such as Project U-Turn, PYN’s post-dropout education re-engagement program, and WorkReady, its work readiness program that tackles the skills gap, PYN created over 15,000 “high quality opportunities” for young people, according to its 2016-2017 annual report.
“We look for, and try to match our services to, young people who live in communities with higher poverty rates and lower youth employment rates,” said President and CEO Chekemma J. Fulmore-Townsend. “We are also looking at high school graduation rates at different schools because we want to make sure that those young people are also having the opportunity to extend their learning through work-based experiences.”