May 30, 2020
Despite shutdowns to work and education caused by the pandemic, Philadelphia youth will still be able to participate in a paid summer work program that is aimed at enhancing student's college and career readiness.
The WorkReady Program will offer "paid digital experiences" to between 7,000 to 9,000 people, ages 12 to 24, who apply before June 30. The program has gone digital this year because of restrictions to in-person business caused by the COIVD-19 crisis.
The program usually provides jobs to youth in the juvenile justice system and those who live in areas of the city targeted by the Philadelphia Police Department's "Operation Pinpoint," which aims to reduce crime in certain neighborhoods of the city.
If an applicant does not meet one of the above categories, they can also qualify based on identifications such as family size and income. More than 16,000 youth and young adults apply each year, meaning only about half are usually admitted to the summer program.
Typically, WorkReady jobs take place in person, but have moved online for summer 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Young people hired will have jobs that will be done remotely to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
More than 90 organizations, in addition to the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation and the School District of Philadelphia, will hire students for online work.
Last year, Bank of America, Drexel University, PECO, Independence Blue Cross, Comcast, and Wells Fargo were among the companies that supported between 25 and 99 summer jobs last year, reported the Philadelphia Business Journal.
To apply, students must provide their birth date, their social security number, email address, and a valid photo ID. According to The Notebook, youth won't be required to have a work permit due to the WorkReady program's switch from wages to an incentive-based program.
Youth participating in the program will be able to receive a stipend of up to $595 for the entire summer of work. In the past, youth and youth adults in participating programs earned between $8.25 and $10.35 per hour.
In addition to providing thousands of WorkReady jobs, the Philly Parks and Rec department says they plan to hire more than 280 young people ages 16-24 for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry's State and Local Internship Program, SLIP. This program is managed locally by Philadelphia Works and the Philadelphia Youth Network, which also manages WorkReady.
More than 550 young people from the School District of Philadelphia will participate in the summer 2020 program, according to the school district. In summer 2019, approximately 3,500 students from the district participated in programming from PYN and WorkReady.
Digital experience jobs offered this summer through WorkReady will be divided into three categories which applicants can select from: digital career exposure, financial literacy, and digital literacy and brand identity.
Applicants can learn more about these programs here.