Announcing the Fourth Class of WPSI Scholars

The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) is pleased to name the fourth annual class of WPSI Scholars. The twenty-five selected Skills Initiative alumni will each receive funding in varying amounts from $2,500-$5,000 for tuition and associated fees, totaling $97,500. To date, this is the largest total amount awarded to a single cohort of Scholars. This […]

Alumni Spotlight: Antoinette from Penn Medicine

In October 2020 Antoinette Moore, like many others, was without a job during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I was doing prenatal health, working in the community. Then a bunch of us were let go, and I was doing odds and end jobs but nothing was really sticking. At that time I was really unemployed, and no […]

Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott Gifts $4 Million to the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative to Accelerate and Sustain Program’s Impact

A group of people in graduation caps and gowns smile at the camera with an instructor.

Today, we at the Skills Initiative are thrilled to share that University City District has received a $4 million donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott through her charitable organization Yield Giving to benefit the work of WPSI. The unrestricted gift will accelerate our goals of providing opportunities for job seekers, program alumni, and incumbent workers to […]

Graduate Spotlight: Monique from Penn Medicine

Six months ago, Monique Torres began working at Penn Medicine as a Medical Assistant, but her dream of working in the medical field began when she was just fourteen.     “My mom’s best friend, who I call my aunt, passed away when I was young of leukemia cancer. Times like that are usually when you […]

Grant Blvd and WPSI Unveil “Fashion the Future Forward” Pilot Program

PHILADELPHIA [January 30, 2024] – University City District’s West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) and Grant Blvd, a West Philadelphia-based sustainable fashion brand, announce the launch of a groundbreaking pilot partnership – “Fashion the Future Forward.” This collaborative initiative aims to recruit, train, and employ formerly incarcerated women in sustainable career pathways that provide a living […]

Award-Winning Biotech Training Program to Begin Recruitment with New Employer Partner in Life Sciences

A young man in a labcoat is working in a laboratory.

PHILADELPHIA (January 16 2024) – The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative and The Wistar Institute are collaborating once again with support from the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation and the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia to bring their award-winning expansion of Wistar’s Biomedical Technician Training Program to a new partner, VintaBio, Inc. This workforce development training […]

Graduate Spotlight: Haley from Philly Shipyard, Inc.

Haley stands under the Aker Philadelphia Shipyard crane at the Philadelphia Navy Yard

Haley Arici graduated from Widener University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Haley had successfully completed a coveted internship with McKean Defense Group, was a member of the Society of Women Engineers, Vice President of the Physics and Astronomy Club, and even served as a youth mentor for Transportation You (TrYOU) through Women […]

WPSI + PIDC Workforce Partnership Celebrates 100th Placement

PHILADELPHIA (November 27, 2023) – University City District’s West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) and PIDC are excited to announce the completion of the inaugural Industrial Trades Program! This cohort marks the 100th placement of the partnership.   In 2020, PIDC and the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative teamed up to extend the successful cohort-based job training […]

Graduate Spotlight: Daymond from Penn Medicine

Daymond Garner has always known that his purpose in life is to help people. Early in his career, he nourished this innate ability through working in roles like Quality Assurance and Customer Care, and eventually was tapped to train teams to excel in that work like he did.   In 2021, the West Philadelphia Skills […]

Graduate Spotlight: Shaniya from Drexel University College of Medicine

A student wearing a hat and sweatshirt writes on a whiteboard.

“This program would open many doors and opportunities for me to move up on the train of success,” wrote Shaniya Matthews on her application to the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative’s Medical Assistant Pipeline Program in partnership with Drexel University College of Medicine. It was 2011, and Shaniya had completed Medical Assistant school and certification but […]

Partnership Announced to Connect Philadelphians with Career Training in the Skilled Trades Starting at $25/Hour

Three skilled Trades people are wearing hard hats and working on a project

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 PHILADELPHIA (September 18, 2023) – 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, […]