Council President Clarke speaks at an outside podium with other members of council behind him. They are all wearing face masks.

CITY COUNCIL LEGISLATION PROVIDES $4 MILLION TO A NEW NORMAL JOBS INITIATIVE TO SPARK EMPLOYMENT CITYWIDE

In Cherelle Parker, Council News, Darrell L. Clarke, Katherine Gilmore Richardson, News by PHL Council

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – City Council today introduced legislation to provide $4 Million towards a number of employment programs across the city – a New Normal Jobs Initiative.

From funding a same-day-pay program putting people to work cleaning vacant city lots to workforce development in environmental stewardship projects, a jobs training program to provide home health aides with added nursing certifications, and an employment training effort involving revitalizing neighborhood commercial corridors, the New Normal Jobs Initiative is the latest action by City Council to address the real economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Philadelphia.

“As we work to get the pandemic under control and get our residents vaccinated, we must be equally focused on the harsh economic consequences of this crisis and the Philadelphians who need help finding employment,” said Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District). “The programs being funded by this jobs initiative have a common denominator – they improve Philadelphia and they focus on finding people jobs.”

The programs being funded through the New Normal Jobs Initiative are:

Same Day Work and Pay program. $500,000 to continue supporting a same-day-pay employment effort putting people to work cleaning and maintaining vacant city lots, under the supervision of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

Community Life Improvement Program. $1 Million for an existing, city-run program under the Managing Director’s Office that focuses on quality-of-life issues and problems in neighborhoods across the city.

PowerCorpsPHL. $1 Million for the Philadelphia Energy Authority to run a workforce development effort for at-risk youth. PowerCorpsPHL supports environmental stewardship projects and furthers the city’s youth violence prevention priorities. The program engages out-of-school or out-of-work 18-30 year-olds in an intensive program to connect them to living wage jobs in energy and green infrastructure.

Upskilling Home Health Aides. $300,000 to fund a partnership between City Council, Philadelphia Works and District 1199c’s Training and Upgrading Fund. This partnership, advocated by Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson (At Large) is focused on assisting home health aides, jobs often filled by women of color, to obtain necessary training and certification to become nursing assistants, earning higher wages and opportunities with larger healthcare organizations offering better benefits and career advancement opportunities.

“With high demand for nursing assistants and a significant skills overlap, there is a unique opportunity to target home health aides to receive a Certified Nursing Assistant credential, giving them the requirements to move into higher-paying jobs,” said Councilmember Gilmore Richardson.

Jobs Training by Revitalizing Neighborhood Commercial Corridors. $1 Million to support a program that provides job training through the revitalization of neighborhood commercial business corridors. This program was conceived by Council Majority Leader Cherelle Parker (9th District).

This Reconstruction Program is designed to support small business owners on neighborhood commercial corridors, and support community-focused training programs that will prepare young men and women to gain access to apprenticeship or similar workforce programs, to help them obtain family-sustaining employment opportunities.

“Revitalizing our neighborhood commercial corridors accomplishes multiple purposes – it cleans and uplifts local business corridors that are the lifeblood of our neighborhoods,” said Councilmember Parker. “It allows for on-the-job training efforts designed to bring people into the workforce who want to work, at a living wage. And it lifts our neighborhoods too – where most Philadelphians live. I fully support the New Normal Jobs Initiative and the badly-needed resources it is bringing to the table.”

The budget transfer ordinance with funding for these jobs initiatives was introduced by Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez (7th District), chair of Council’s Appropriations Committee, on Council President Clarke’s behalf.

The budget bill also includes $200,000 for COVID-19 public service announcements. Since the pandemic struck Philadelphia last March, City Council has run a community-focused advertising campaign to reach harder-to-reach Philadelphians with public health messages around the importance of wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings. The campaign has aired thousands of PSA announcements on radio networks in two languages, on local television, and in community newspapers, placing particular emphasis on minority-owned publications and businesses.

Read the legislation: Transfer Ordinance for 2-11-2021
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