$1M grant intended to keep Philly teens employed year round

Cherri Gregg
October 15, 2019 - 2:07 pm
Pennsylvania Sen. Vincent Hughes was at the West Philadelphia Community Center on Tuesday to announce a state-funded grant that will create jobs for Philadelphia teens.

Cherri Gregg/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Pennsylvania Sen. Vincent Hughes was at the West Philadelphia Community Center on Tuesday to announce a state-funded grant that will create jobs for Philadelphia teens year round. 

The million-dollar grant will provide jobs for teens, age 14 to 21, during the fall, winter and spring.

"This will put money in young people's pockets, but it will also provide them job training, real work opportunity, but it will also get them out of harm's way," Hughes said.

Urban Affairs Coalition and Philadelphia Youth Network will partner to administer the grant, which will expand existing youth job training and mentorship programs, while creating paid internships and other opportunities.

"We usually are able to raise enough money between public and private sources for about 10,000 jobs, but that means there are another 8- to 10,000 out there that do not get that opportunity," said Urban Affairs Coalition President Charmain Matlock Turner.

"For a young person, that means a job that they show up to 20 hours a week, or more than 20 hours a week," she said.

Philadelphia Youth Network President Chekeema Fulmore-Townsend says the program will likely pay youth above the current minimum wage, help them develop skills and hopefully keep them out of harm's way. 

Hughes says there's no doubt about it, this is a kind of anti-violence tool. He says the goal is to keep youth busy after school and on the weekends. He's hoping the private sector pitches in.

"It's a challenge to everybody. We are taking the lead. Come on, everybody, let's join us," Hughes said.

The Urban Affairs Coalition and Philadelphia Youth Network will announce specific of the job opportunities in coming weeks.