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Philadelphia Works, together with six counties in Southeast PA, will design & scale a Coordinated Southeastern PA Workforce Development System to develop & launch training programs to build regional workforce skills within targeted growth industries.

The Coordinated SE PA System will connect at least 3,000 people to good jobs within 24-36 months, accelerating equitable recovery, driving economic growth, and disrupting chronic multigenerational poverty across the region.

An announcement webinar was held on Wednesday, September 28th by Philadelphia Works and the backbone agencies supporting this endeavor. Below, please find some of the captured questions and their answers from this event. Any additional questions may be sent to [email protected].

Questions & Answers

  1. Will the PowerPoint Presentation be made available?
    Yes, the slide deck will be shared via email and the recording will be available on the PhilaWorks website. Please click here or use the following link to access the recording:
  2. What age cohort will you focus on serving? Do you see the High School participating in this process?
    This initiative will be mainly focused on adults, but there will be opportunities to partner with schools and youth-serving organizations to build strong and thoughtful pipelines.
  3. When does WPSI’s 1st phase plan to start?
    We are currently in the pre-planning phase with EDA. Internal kickoffs with backbone organizations will follow very quickly after the EDA’s formal greenlight.
  4. My understanding is that the skilled trades, not the laborers, have been routinely reluctant to share diversity data. I’m really interested to learn how the Building Trades sector track and share success w/r/t DEI, specifically serving communities of color and women.
    Our team will be responsible for data collection and reporting for the projects funded by this grant. We will prioritize the data collection and transparency around sharing this information and successes in general as we enter into the planning phase. We will provide more information on this going forward.
  5. Has WPSI begun the research of identifying existing education and training providers + the specific programs that may be relevant for healthcare and life sciences occupations?
    WPSI has a good sense of existing education and training providers in Philadelphia and are actively working to learn more. Part of our plan is to learn more through an RFP process that will be facilitated through PhilaWorks.
  6. PEA’s programs look like they center on new workers and so does WPSI’s. Do any GJC plans include incumbent workers in the context of upward economic mobility?
    Yes, incumbent workers are included as a population serviced by Good Jobs Challenge funding.
  7. The energy jobs model is great! Has PEA and/or PhilaWorks developed career pathways for those energy jobs? I’m thinking of the mentioned on/off ramps.
    This will be a focus of the system development and program design phase.
  8. Can you clarify the sector lead for IT?
    IT was not chosen as a sector of focus for the GJC. It was included in our data analysis, however, based on the labor market information and the known partnerships, the 3 sectors of focus are: Healthcare/Life sciences, Energy, and Infrastructure.
  9. Is one of the targeted populations the immigrant population? If so, has the need for English training been discussed with the backbone orgs? It is likely that some employer partners aren’t aware that they could employ highly skilled immigrants who would benefit from industry-specific English training? This question might be better answered later?
    Providing resources and services to immigrant populations will be a focus during the system development and program design phase.
  10. Could thought partners be tapped to help craft RFPs to identify and support needs?
    Yes, thought partners are needed and could help inform RFPs. Thought partners will also be invited to attend future meetings during the planning phase throughout the next year.
  11. As IT cuts across all sectors, how can Tech Impact’s ITWorks Workforce Development Training participate in this Good Jobs Challenge?
    All interested partners will have to follow the RFP process facilitated through PhilaWorks.
  12. How will grant funding be allocated and spent? Will money be allocated for workforce/apprenticeship (direct wages) or only for development of the programs?
    The specifics of this will be determined during the planning and development phases. Funding can be allocated to both workforce/apprenticeship wages and the development of programs.
  13. How will the Good Jobs Challenge be aligned with the services offered through the PA CareerLink® PHL Centers?
    Aligning PA CareerLink® services and programming is a focus of the system development and program design phase.
  14. I saw mention of engaging underserved individuals and communities. How do you define who that is? What is your plan to target communities that are most in need of these jobs?
    Engaging underserved individuals and communities will be a focus of the system development and program design phase. Defining those target populations and communities is also a part of the planning phase.
  15. What is the GJC email?
    The dedicated e-mail to reach out with questions related to the Good Jobs Challenge is
    go[email protected].
  16. Can an infrastructure project that does not have a Project Labor Agreement and is not a Build Rite project or similar still participate with PALM?
    The process for this will be discussed during the planning and development phase.
  17. Will all project updates be posted on the PhilaWorks website?
    For now, project updates will be posted on the PhilaWorks website until we have a dedicated Good Jobs Challenge platform in place to share updates.
  18. How will metrics and grant evaluation be reported to the EDA? Have those metrics been identified?
    As the System Lead Entity, Philadelphia Works is responsible to report metrics and
    progress to the EDA.
  19. Will any dollars be used to develop welcoming and just workplaces re: staff retention and upward mobility?
    This will be considered during the system design and program development phase; we are exploring whether these are allowable activities under the grant.
  20. Will there be any contracts issued to look at long-term outcomes for participants?
    We will need to determine whether we have a budget for this activity under the grant. If we do, it will be procured, along with all other contracts.
  21. What are the current plans around raising additional leverage/funding?
    Leveraging additional funding will be considered during all three phases: system development,
    program design, and program implementation. There will be alignment with existing workforce dollars and an effort to engage foundations and other private donors to support the efforts.
  22. Could there be support for training programs to prepare small businesses to hire new employees?
    This will be considered during the system development and program design phase.
  23. Would love to see training dollars for apprenticeship mentors to support pathways for new apprentices. Curious about that… interest on that from PALM?
    This will be considered during the system development and program design phase.
  24. I saw mention of engaging underserved individuals and communities.
    Engaging underserved individuals and communities will be a focus of the system development and program design phase.

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