Job Seekers

Program Basics

The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) is a training program which connects you to the tools, behaviors and supports you need to build a career that can change your life. To join a training program, you must be unemployed, in most cases a resident of West Philadelphia, and have a high school diploma or GED. Specific programs may have additional education, work, or residential requirements. 

Current Programs

Who should apply?

Goal-oriented, motivated individuals with high-quality people skills who want to train as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). This program is a blend of virtual courses and in-person sessions following CDC COVID-19 regulations at Drexel University. Masks will be provided for in-person sessions if needed. Participants must commit to the following schedule:


WPSI Virtual Sessions

  • Facilitated group conversations Mon- Fri 2/8-2/19, Fri 4/9 & Fri 4/16, 9am-12pm
  • Additional one on one and small group virtual meetings several times a week between 12pm-3pm
  • Approx 2 hours of daily, independent reading and reflection exercises

EMT Training Classes – 2/23 – 5/6

  • In-person: Orientation Tues, 2/23, 8am-5pm
  • Online: EMT Training Classes 2/24-3/4, Tues-Thurs, 8am-5pm
  • Hybrid virtual/in-person: EMT Training Classes 3/9-4/1, Tues-Thurs, 8am-5pm
  • In-person: EMT Training Classes 4/6-5/6, Tues-Thurs, 8am-5pm

EMT Skills Testing

  • In-person, 5/8 & 5/22

WPSI Program Closing Session

  • Virtual Session, 5/12, 9am-12pm


What is WPSI?

The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) runs programs that connect you to the tools and supports needed to build a career that is meaningful to you. 


In this program, we offer:

  • Cutting-edge job connection strategies resulting in 95% of WPSI graduates finding employment.
  • A $150 weekly stipend while enrolled in the program.
  • No-cost EMT training. Similar programs can cost up to $2,500.
  • Upon successful completion WPSI’s EMT Certification Training program in partnership with Drexel University, graduates will take the NREMT exam to become a National and PA Department of Health certified EMT. 


Are you eligible?

All applicants must live in the city of Philadelphia, possess a high school diploma or GED, hold an active valid PA driver’s license, be physically fit, commit to the full training schedule listed above, and read at an 11th grade level or higher


APPLY HERE TODAY! Deadline is Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 5pm.

Upcoming Programs


  • Stay tuned for details on our next recruitment!



“The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative has changed my life. When I came here, I knew I had the skills to land a job, but working closely with the staff, they brought out my potential to build a future career and to pull out my best self. I know that I am capable of doing whatever I put my mind to because I have a phenomenal group of people behind me.”

Tyler Wood, Brightview, Landscape Technician, March 2019



My experience at WPSI was life changing. I finally found a way to use my skills and an opportunity to gain the experience that I desperately needed in the medical field. Along with gaining connections, I also gained relationships with an amazingly supportive group of people. I now have a career that I’ve been working towards since I got my certification and I am excited to see what the future holds.

Aquanette Blakely, DUCOM, November 2018