By Steven Kuzmicki
Kenroy Grayson of Southwest Philadelphia says, “the program was excellent and the staff very knowledgeable. I encourage everyone take the program. It’s a real opportunity to move forward with your life”.
Four people from Southwest, part of a cadre of 9, were recently the first graduates of a new workforce development training program developed by the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) and University City District’s West Philadelphia Skills Initiative the “Navy Yard Workforce Development Initiatives program. These 9 participants successfully completed the three-week Grounds Maintenance Laborer Program in partnership with Four Seasons Total Landscaping, culminating with interviews for the positions yesterday, and were ALL extended a job offer. The Grounds Maintenance Laborer Program is the first of four collaborative professional development training programs that will be managed in 2021 by West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) and PIDC’s Navy Yard Workforce Development Initiatives (NYWDI) to train South, Southwest, and West Philadelphia residents for permanent, full-time, quality-wage careers. The inaugural program utilized the Navy Yard campus for the green industry trades training. The Navy Yard provided a rich learning environment by combining several green industry job sectors all within one singular location and training day. We focused on recruiting talented South, Southwest, and West Philadelphians and drew in over 115 Applications, which was whittled down to 34 applicants interviewed, and just 13 people were accepted into the program. Participants received 10 hours of safety training to earn an OSHA-10 certification, 30 + hours of virtual training and coaching, 8 hours of hands-on technical training and 2 worksite visits and opportunities to meet FSTL staff.