WEST PHILLY LOCAL • West Philly Skills Initiative launches “WPSI Scholars” program to support its alumni

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Originally published by West Philly Local



West Philly Skills Initiative launches “WPSI Scholars” program to support its alumni


The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, the University City District’s program that provides job training opportunities to unemployed Philadelphians and connects them with potential employers, now also supports its alumni who want to continue their professional education. The inaugural group of “WPSI Scholars” was announced yesterday. Each of the 16 scholars received $1,000 scholarships toward tuition to cover degree, certification, or credentialing programs.


The goal of the program is to “offer a small but significant incentive to graduates to continue growing in their careers and open new professional opportunities,” according to Skills Initiative Managing Director Cait Garozzo.


The new program is in partnership with Graduate! Philadelphia, a non-profit organization committed to increasing social and economic mobility for lower-to-moderate-income households. It offers financial aid support to adult learners and frontline workers, back balance negotiation with higher education institution, analysis of credit for prior learning, transcript evaluation, pre-enrollment support, and more.


The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative is a nationally recognized program that provides workforce development programs for Philadelphia’s major employers and residents. Recent employer partners have including SEPTA, Penn Medicine, the Philadelphia Fire Department, and new partnership through PIDC and the Navy Yard. From March 2020 through March 2021, WPSI helped 99 percent of graduates land a job with starting salaries averaging $17.94 an hour.


Currently, the Skills Initiative in partnership with Penn Medicine is recruiting Philadelphia residents who possess a high school diploma or GED for training and job opportunities as a Patient Services Associate. The deadline to apply is Friday, June 25, at 5 p.m. Go here for more information.