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September 19, 2023

Training program in skilled trades offers career opportunities starting at $25/hour

The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative and PIDC’s Navy Yard Skills Initiative Launch Professional Development Program with the Naval Surface Warfare Center Philadelphia Division for Union Careers

Careers Recruiting

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University City District’s West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) and PIDC’s Navy Yard Skills Initiative (NYSI) launched a program to train Philadelphia residents for permanent, full-time, union careers starting at $25/hour with the Naval Surface Warfare Center Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD). The partnership is made possible by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Recruitment for the program starts September 19 and goes through September 29, 2023. Recruitment and application information can be found on The Navy Yard website.

The pilot program builds a pipeline to NSWCPD’s Industrial Trades Developmental Program (ITDP), a 2-year paid training consisting of trade theory instruction and on-the-job skills training before starting as either a Machinery Mechanic or Electrician. The ITDP was developed to ensure the defense and maritime ecosystems have the people and trades needed to meet the current and future demands of the U.S. Navy. Serving as the Navy’s primary technical expertise for both naval machinery research and development and naval machinery lifecycle engineering, the NSWCPD facility at The Navy Yard employs approximately 2,800 people.

Program Information

Recruitment for the 3-week paid program begins on Tuesday, September 19, and goes through September 29, 2023. Program participants will practice the skills needed to be successful as an ITDP Trainee and receive onboarding support as they navigate the process to obtaining all required clearances. Graduates from the program will go on to enter the ITDP and earn $25/hour to start.

To apply, candidates must be a resident of Philadelphia County, commit to the full training schedule, possess a high school diploma or GED, and be able to pass a physical.

For more information and to apply, visit The Navy Yard website.

“I am excited to begin this partnership with the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative,” said Nigel Thijs, Division Technical Director of NSWCPD and member of the Navy’s Senior Executive Service (SES). “This program will create a trades cohort that offers secure employment opportunities to Philadelphia area residents while strengthening the technical depth and breadth of our Navy skilled trades workforce. This initiative supports the Pennsylvania Talent Pipeline Program established by the Department of Defense to close a critical gap of skilled trades employees throughout the defense industrial base.”

For the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative and PIDC’s Navy Yard Skills Initiative, the Industrial Trades Program partnership is an exciting opportunity to expand access to skilled trades work in Philadelphia. “As the nation faces a skilled trades labor shortage, this partnership has the opportunity to position Philadelphia as a model for how to solve the labor crisis in a way that is inclusive and equitable,” said Cait Garozzo, Executive Director of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative.

In 2020, PIDC and the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative launched the Navy Yard Skills Initiative to bring the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative’s high-performing cohort-based jobs-driven training model to Navy Yard employers. The collaboration has resulted in nearly 100 graduates connecting with Navy Yard employers.

“This is the 11th Navy Yard Skills Initiative cohort and the first one we’ve been able to partner with the U.S. Navy on,” said Kate McNamara, PIDC’s Senior Vice President, Navy Yard. “It’s truly amazing to see that this workforce development program has been able to serve the diverse businesses at the Navy Yard from shipbuilding, food manufacturing, healthcare, advanced life sciences and now the Navy. Even though the military base closed in 1996, the Navy’s presence here is strong, and they are still one of the largest employers at the Navy Yard. This partnership shows how we are growing together and creating quality, well-paying career opportunities for Philadelphians.”

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