Eckerd Connects receives over $450,000 from Philadelphia Works program to help young adults find year-round employment and education opportunities

Philadelphia Works has announced that Eckerd Connects, along with eight other local providers, will receive a total of $6 million in contracts to help targeted young adults (ages 17-21) with finding year-round employment and educational opportunities in the Philadelphia area.

The four distinct populations of young adults (age 17-21) that will be targeted for these programs include:

  • Youth identified as having autism or an intellectual/developmental disability;
  • Youth who have been adjudicated (court-involved within the past five years);
  • Youth who are aging or have aged out of foster care;
  • Youth who have graduated from a School District of Philadelphia Career & Technical Education Program.

This announcement was made on January 9, 2018 by Philadelphia Works and Mayor Jim Kenney, along with School District Superintendent Dr. William Hite, and other public officials.

“In a city where deep poverty has kept generations of young people from achieving a better life, this important first step will have an immediate impact in a critical area of need,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “This funding will help to connect the various programs that serve these targeted populations of young people, bringing together diverse stakeholders to meet both the needs of employers and young career-seekers alike. I congratulate Philadelphia Works and the funding recipients as we unite around the shared goal of expanding opportunities for all Philadelphia residents.”

The target population to be served by the new contracts are youth age 17-21 who are Philadelphia residents, out-of-school or current high-school seniors, and identified as one of the target populations above. Providers are required to serve at least one of the target populations, but several have submitted multi-faceted proposals to serve one or more.

Providers will deliver year-round direct services to youth and young adults, including recruitment of target populations, identifying specific needs, and partnering with employers to develop work experiences that align with high priority occupations. Providers will then enroll participants into paid work experiences, ensure payment of all youth wages, and provide quarterly programmatic evaluations to Philadelphia Works to ensure goals are being met.

“We are excited to be a part of this program in Philadelphia, and to be able to help these young adults as they begin their journey into higher education or the workforce,” said Suzanne Foran, Vice President of Operations for Eckerd Connects/Workforce Development.

The contracts are being awarded for an 18-month period, with initial operations expected to begin immediately, and full-scale operations to begin in March, 2018.

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