West Philadelphia skyline

Employer Partners


WPSI’s model puts the employer in the driver’s seat: we operate as a boutique consulting firm with our employer partners as our clients. We conduct an in-depth needs assessment to design solutions which help employers resolve challenges related to candidate quality, application process flow, retention, performance gaps, and on-boarding support, while deepening their connection to the surrounding community. The WPSI team engages employers in order to understand their workplace culture, hiring practices, and turnover issues.
The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) | On the job with Drexel Medicine

What WPSI Employer Partners Say

As an anchor institution and longstanding partner, CHOP strongly believes that the powerful combination of community development and economic development leads to strong workforce development. We are proud to collaborate with the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) to close the opportunity gap for unemployed Philadelphians. We look forward to continuing our partnership with WPSI as they continue to expand their footprint and offer career opportunities to even more members of our community.

- Joanne McCool, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
A lot of firms think they have the answers, but WPSI talked to actual bus operators and learned what we need in a candidate. It’s easy to wave a good, stable job in front of someone who is unemployed, but WPSI finds the people willing and able to get up at 5am and perform a customer-facing job every day.

- Jacob Aufschauer, Senior Director of Human Resources, SEPTA
We partnered with WPSI hoping that we could positively impact the community in which Penn operated from an economic standpoint, but what we got back was so much more. The housekeepers we hired through WPSI are hard-working and collaborative. It was obvious early on how working through WPSI helped develop cohesion in the group, allowing them to support each other through their on-boarding process at Penn.

- Elizabeth Hansen, Executive Director of Finance and Administration, University of Pennsylvania’s Division of Facilities & Real Estate
The more we have become involved in the training program, the greater success our employees, and the higher retention rate, we have seen. We used to only volunteer to lead mock interviews, but now we have Allied Universal staff teaching sections of the program. Our WPSI grads move seamlessly into work. Security is just one thing that happens at Allied, and WPSI grads have more confidence and are comfortable doing the work on day one.

- Jim Carter, Account Manager, Allied Universal


West Philadelphia Skills Initiative Classroom
West Philadelphia Skills Allied Universal Security Desk On The Job
West Philadelphia Skills Initiative Classroom
West Philadelphia Skills Initiative Nurse On The Job

Customized Pipeline Training Programs for New Staff

WPSI targets a specific position that employers need to fill and uses a cohort model to recruit, assess, and train candidates on behalf of a new employer, who can then interview and hire top talent for those open positions. Historically, employers who use the pipeline training program experience significant increases in employee retention during the first 12 months following the program.

Signature Model Elements

WPSI’s team often spends months interviewing and observing employees in the target position to understand what skills are necessary to succeed in the job.

WPSI uses the information gained during the employer engagement phase to create a recruitment and interview process for the program that identifies qualified candidates for the target job.

Every aspect of WPSI’s programming can be adapted to meet the needs of employers and participants. WPSI’s curriculum development team provides a foundation skills training program that makes executive-level training relevant for entry-level workers and maximizes participants’ chance of success during employer interviews and on the job.

WPSI staff maintain open communication with employers, participants and program alumni in order to continually improve programming and ensure positive outcomes for both our participants and employer partners.

WPSI guides participants through the process of preparing for the application and interview with the target employer.

WPSI staff continue to support participants during the onboarding process, reducing the attrition that can happen due to failure to complete background checks, assessments and other onboarding requirements. WPSI’s Alumni Engagement Program provides lifetime support for all program alumni.

Recruitment and Retention Consulting

WPSI has over a decade of experience recruiting, placing, and coaching entry-level staff. Through quantitative and qualitative data analysis, we can identify the main drivers of employee attrition and recommend solutions to improve retention and reduce costs.

Manager and Incumbent Worker Training

WPSI’s unique high-quality content brings value to anyone who sits in our classrooms, regardless of their title and salary. We also recognize that our participants are more successful when their managers and peers are successful, so our team creates customized training content for incumbent workers. Workshops such as social identity, mindfulness, managing up, and growth mindset can be delivered as stand-alone sessions or as part of a larger talent strategy.

Accelerated Job Connections Model

The Skills Initiative has developed a rapid job attachment model –  #WorkWithWPSI – focused on connecting our alumni and the broader community to immediately available positions with major employers that aren’t a fit for our traditional pipeline model.

Contact Us

WPSI works with employers throughout Philadelphia and accepts employer partners on a rolling basis. If you are interested in exploring a partnership with WPSI, please contact Lauren Bishop at lbishop@universitycity.org for more information about how WPSI’s customizable services can benefit your organization.

Employer Partners