University City District Helping To Link Residents With Local Jobs

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A new initiative in West Philadelphia is pairing young people who want to work with employers who have jobs for them. It’s the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, in which three universities and two health systems go to the University City District with entry-level jobs they need filled, and then the district partners with the community to find those who can fill those jobs.

“We just finished a pilot program with a laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania where we trained part-time laboratory technicians from the neighborhood to become full-time laboratory technicians,” said Matt Bergheiser, executive director of the University City District. “We’ve begun an apprenticeship program with Penn Medicine to take recent graduates of West Philadelphia High School and place them in positions of high need at the Health System.”

Bergheiser says the initiative falls into the District’s mission of improving the neighborhood by creating connections to help residents work and thrive.

Reported by Karin Phillips, KYW Newsradio 1060

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