Philadelphia to receive $1 million from Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Generation Work youth initiative

Philadelphia to receive $1 million from Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Generation Work youth initiative.  

The Annie E. Casey Foundation, a Baltimore-based child welfare institution, will soon release $6 million in grants to promote skill and career building in five American cities, including almost $1 million designated for Philadelphia.

"Our future workforce is one of our nation's greatest assets, and we cannot compete globally unless it is strong," Allison Gerber, senior associate at Casey Foundation, said. "The next generation is eager to work, but we must create more avenues for young adults to develop the knowledge and experience they need to succeed in the job market."

Locally, the investment will function over the next four years through a new project called Generation Work by matching potential employers, funders, policy partners and practitioners with youth. The endeavor is aided by four Philadelphia groups: the Job Opportunity Investment Network (JOIN), Philadelphia Youth Network, YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School and District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund.

"Through Generation Work, we aim to transform Philadelphia's skill development landscape so that all young adults (18-29) have access to relevant, engaging careers and employers have access to strong, productive talent pipelines," Jennie Sparandara, director of JOIN, said.

Generation Work will strive to create connections between businesses and local populations, preparing young adults for work with programs such as mentoring and on-the-job learning. Philadelphia was chosen as a participant because the city exhibited great potential for success with the program, while struggling with obstacles for its inhabitants.

"Partnership is the key to success when it comes to aligning all of our best strategies, citywide, to ensure young Philadelphians are able to reach the next level in their professional and personal goals," Philadelphia Youth Network President and CEO Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend said. "We are able to reach higher and achieve greater results when we grow together as a team … so that access to employment and education are no longer hurdles to jump, but doors to open."

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