Congreso de Latinos Unidos selected as one of four local organizations to receive Workforce Solutions grant
The City and Department of Commerce unveiled the grant to support those preparing for and entering the workforce.
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On Wednesday, March 8, the Philadelphia Department of Commerce announced its newest recipients of its Workforce Solutions Grant.
The Workforce Solutions Grant invests in programs from organizations that strive to elevate evidence-informed approaches to address specific challenges historically disadvantaged Philadelphia residents face when preparing for and entering the workforce.
The Department of Commerce selected four new organizations to receive the grant — a combined $1 million in funding — to develop innovative workforce solutions for local job seekers to prepare for and connect to sustainable career pathways that pay a living wage.
“Our Administration remains committed to accelerating economic opportunities that promote equitable growth,” said Mayor Jim Kenney in a statement.
“The Workforce Solutions grant is another layer in our economic investments that can help boost employment opportunities for residents. Commerce staff is continuing to convene workforce partners that develop innovative programs to prepare local job seekers for career pathways within our growing industry sectors,” he continued.
One of the four organizations selected for the Workforce Solutions Grant is Congreso de Latinos Unidos, which will receive $200,000. The organization plans to use the funds to expand its Human Services Pathway Program and partnership with Peirce College.
The partnership strengthens the pathway to associate and bachelor’s degree attainment by providing additional college credits and expanding course offerings to students.
Congreso's mission is to enable individuals and families in predominantly Latino neighborhoods to achieve economic self-sufficiency and well being in five core areas — education, workforce development, health, housing, and family services.
Through the Workforce Solutions Grant, Congreso will continue to expand and innovate its curriculum that further aligns with the needs of employers, with the goal of preparing their program graduates for a diverse array of career paths and opportunities.
The three other organizations selected as recipients of the Workforce Solutions Grant:
- University City Science Center — awarded $200,000 to expand its Building an Understanding of Lab Basics (BULB) programming, a hands-on lab training program that prepares those seeking employment in the life sciences industry.
- Per Scholas — awarded $500,000 to provide free technical and professional skills training and job placements services to learners, and prepares graduates to enter IT support, cloud computing, cybersecurity, and software engineering roles.
- Community College of Philadelphia — awarded $250,000 to address the workforce shortage in the Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) sector, providing training that can lead to internships within the industry.
“Our work aims to address the talent needs of employers, increase access to workforce training opportunities for residents and to grow the economy,” said Anne Nadol, Commerce Director for the City of Philadelphia.
The Department of Commerce’s Workforce Development division is focused on connecting Philadelphia residents to careers in growth industries. This includes a focus on residents who may lack a high school credential, as well as those with limited digital proficiency, lack of foundational employability skills, and those in need of industry-recognized credentials.
All this is a part of the City’s commitment to ensuring its work elevates, prioritizes, and serves the needs of the communities that have been historically disadvantaged.
“We are excited to see these programs provide individuals with the tools needed to enter the workforce and continue to diversify the talent pipeline in these fields,” said Gianna Grossmann, senior director of workforce development at the Office of Business Development and Workforce Solutions.
The Workforce Solutions Grant is a key initiative that began as part of the City’s Workforce Respond and Recharge 2021 Commitment, a collaborative effort by the City, Department of Commerce, and workforce development partners, including Philadelphia Works and PIDC.