West Philadelphia Skills Initiative Graduate Updates

University City District’s West Philadelphia Skills Initiative has trained more than 1,500 residents for career-ladder positions with local employers. In this short film, we check in with three graduates from our program–Mark Gay, Myna Christian, and Vanessa Dicks–to learn how their careers have taken off since completing our program.

Citizens Bank Continues Support of the Skills Initiative with $60,000 Contribution

WPSI Graduating Class photo

We are sharing our gratitude in announcing that Citizens Bank has awarded us another $60,000 grant to support our nationally-recognized job training program, the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI). This generous contribution pushes the total support offered by the Citizens Charitable Foundation to the Skills Initiative to over $550,000 since our program’s inception.   Citizens Bank believes that investing in […]

Celebrating Ten Years of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative

WPSI Anniversary Image

On Wednesday, September 28th, 2022, hundreds of West Philadelphia Skills Initiative alumni, partners, and friends gathered at World Cafe Live to celebrate ten years of our nationally-recognized job training program. The event featured remarks from key partners, awards for notable Skills Initiative alumni, and catching up with friends and former staff.    During the event, we screened […]

Caitlin Garozzo Named Executive Director of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative

Cait Garozzo

We’re pleased to announce that Caitlin Garozzo has been promoted to Executive Director of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative. Cait is a proven leader who brings a deep commitment to identifying and creating opportunities that promote equity, support growth, and provide meaningful solutions for employers and WPSI participants. She began her workforce career as a […]

Biomedical technician training program launches to support Philadelphia’s growing life sciences sector

Wistar Institute

Philadelphia Business Journal Five organizations with connections to the region’s life sciences industry have united to launch a biotech technician training program aimed at connecting people from disadvantaged communities with jobs that don’t require a college degree.   The 22-week paid program – called “Biomedical Technician Training Program: Aseptic Manufacturing” — is a result of […]

Checking In On The State Of The Philadelphia Labor Market

The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) | Labor Market Report | November 5, 2020

The labor market of the past 30 months has been more varied than any other time in recent memory. Unemployment rates swung from record lows to record highs in weeks, and then quickly fell back. Some industries that were well prepared to adjust to the pandemic economy have thrived, while others have struggled with labor […]

West Philadelphia Skills Initiative plots expansion with $3.5M grant from Pew Charitable Trusts

Philadelphia Business Journal header image

Philadelphia Business Journal University City District’s West Philadelphia Skills Initiative plans to broaden the program’s reach in the city and double the number of participants with the help of a multimillion-dollar grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts.   Pew Charitable Trusts’ Fund for Health and Human Services awarded the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative a $3.5 […]

Announcing the Second Class of WPSI Scholars

WPSI participants in the classroom

Our West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) is pleased to name the second annual group of “WPSI Scholars,” twelve Skills Initiative alumni who will each receive financial assistance to help with continuing their professional education through a partnership with Graduate! Philadelphia. The Scholars each receive scholarships toward tuition to cover degree, certification, or credentialing programs. Originally, […]

WPSI Employee Spotlight: Dr. Romaine Thrower

Dr. Romaine Thrower’s journey to working for the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative seemed destined from the start. Romaine grew up in West Philadelphia, where she attended Overbrook High School and was instilled with a desire to serve at a young age as a member of the Vine Memorial Baptist Church at 56th and Girard.     Romaine […]

GoCoach Partners With Philadelphia Workforce Development Program to Boost Job Seekers’ Skills

Go Coach Header Image

The B2B Coaching and Learning Platform Will Offer a Program Specially Designed for Participants of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative   PHILADELPHIA, March 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — GoCoach, the upskilling, workplace learning, and coaching platform, has announced a new initiative with the nonprofit West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI), a program of University City District and one of the […]