JEVS Human Services joined Philadelphia Works, the city’s lead workforce development agency,  in launching ApprenticeshipPHL during National Apprenticeship Week and National Career Development Month this November. ApprenticeshipPHL is a regional public-private collaboration with the overall goal of increasing and aligning Registered Apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs for the benefit of the Greater Philadelphia region’s residents and employers.

“We’re making apprenticeships more accessible, more varied in the industries in which they work, and the best way for employers to find talent that they can’t find anywhere else,” said Mark Genua, Philadelphia Works’ apprenticeship program director. “It’s good for job seekers. It’s good for employers. And we think it can change a lot of lives in the process.”

>> Hear KYW1060 radio’s announcement about this new initiative.

ApprenticeshipPHL will guide businesses through the process of starting an apprenticeship program, by helping them to create the program, align the program to business goals, navigate government accreditation requirements, and find the right talent for their business. ApprenticeshipPHL’s platform will also serve as a a central repository for apprenticeship opportunities in the region, including program/occupation description, entrance qualifications/requirements, recruitment periods and application process, program contacts and website, and other details.

“JEVS Human Services is proud to join with Philadelphia Works and our fellow champions of apprenticeship,” said John Colborn, chief operating officer at JEVS. “We know apprenticeship is a great pathway to good jobs and careers, and a way employers can develop the workforce they need to compete and succeed. Thanks to Patrick Clancy of Philadelphia Works for his leadership on this effort, and to Sheila Ireland of the City of Philadelphia, Eric Ramsay of the State of Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry, and Jim Foti of the U.S. Department of Labor for joining us in the launch of ApprenticeshipPHL.”

Both Philadelphia Works and JEVS are dedicated to growing Philadelphia’s economy by connecting employers to workforce talent and career seekers to jobs. In 2015, Philadelphia Works received a $2.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to support the Southeast Pennsylvania Region American Apprenticeship Initiative. During this time, Philadelphia Works has spearheaded groundbreaking efforts, engaging employers and community organizations to create and expand apprenticeships in the high-growth industries of information technology and behavioral health care. It was through this investment in apprenticeship opportunities that JEVS Human Services recently became an intermediary for the IT Generalist Registered Apprenticeship through the creation of the Philadelphia Information Technology Opportunity Collaborative (PITOC). JEVS through PITOC, works with regional employers to provide supports for apprentices, including individualized case management, as well as customized training for the employer, apprentice tracking, access to public dollars, recruitment, and onboarding support—all to ensure the success of the new employee and apprenticeship opportunity.

“JEVS and our partners are committed to strengthening the Greater Philadelphia region’s career pathway opportunities for disconnected communities while also meeting regional employers’ workforce development needs,” said Jay Spector, president and CEO of JEVS.

Why Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeship programs build stronger, more efficient businesses because they can build their team from the ground up, from day one. For apprentices, they learn the skills required for a rewarding career, not just a job.

• Return on Investment
Businesses investing in apprenticeships see significant savings in recruitment and training costs (40-50%), an increase in their supply of skilled workers, and lower employee turnover further increasing productivity and money saved.
• Building a Skilled Workforce
Apprenticeships improve employee engagement, problem-solving ability, task flexibility, and reduce the need for supervision.
• Proven Method
Workforce organizations, businesses, non-profits, community colleges, and other institutions across the country use apprenticeship as a proven employment and training strategy.
• Filling Your Talent Needs
Apprenticeships use local and diverse talent to fill employers hiring needs for both entry-level and incumbent workers.

JEVS’ Apprenticeship Activities

Over the past year-and-a-half, JEVS Human Services has put into action several apprenticeship initiatives and programming that help individuals (and especially youth) to develop career pathways in the way of skills and credentials, informed career choices and exposure, and mentorships. We’ve also developed partnerships with regional business leaders to provide opportunities for apprentices that could lead to lucrative employment and future upward mobility. Here are some examples of our work so far:

– JEVS has operated for nearly a decade its Project WOW (World of Work) program for high school dropouts, who go through intense GED test preparation, while gaining hands-on career skills in a key industries. While the building trades (specifically property maintenance and repair) was the original training track, JEVS has added an information technology training track. Graduates of this six-month program, which provides basic skills and career exposure for youth, can go on to complete JEVS’ new IT Pre-Apprenticeship pilot program starting this January or our TechServ Scholars AmeriCorps program. All three of these programs provide career pathways for students, who upon completion may go onto a registered IT apprenticeship, employment, or college.

>>Markus Mitchell, a graduate of the pilot year of TechServ Scholars, is JEVS Human Services’ first IT General Apprentice. Read more about his journey here. 

>>Project WOW and IT Pre-Apprenticeship programs are currently enrolling for their January 2019 cohorts. Click here to request info: Project WOW   IT Pre-Apprenticeship

>>Read more about the IT-Pre-Apprenticeship program, funded by Philadelphia Works, in the Philadelphia Tribune. 

– JEVS’ post-secondary, career training school, Orleans Technical College, announced in June 2018 a new partnership with East Norriton, Pa.,-based Associated Builders and Contractors, Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter (ABC), to become their apprenticeship training center in Philadelphia County. This arrangement will not only help to create more apprenticeships in the region and diversity in workforce development of construction and trades, it will provide employers with the opportunity to advance their employees’ skills through the offering of the PA-approved National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) merit-based training curriculum, the industry standard credential.

– During 2018, we convened Philadelphia Information Technology Opportunities Collaborative (PITOC), a public-private collaborative bringing together diverse partners committed to the development of IT career pathways. The first ever PA Non-Joint Group Sponsored IT apprenticeship council, PITOC serves as an advisory group to oversee the administration of local IT apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship programs.

JEVS hireAbility offers an empowering, customized employment program to assist individuals of all ages, skill levels, and experiences living with an intellectual disability, mental illness, physical disability, or chronic disease by preparing them for competitive, integrated employment. As part of these services, hireAbility is developing inclusive pre-apprenticeship and registered apprenticeship programs. In September 2018, we launched the JEVS IT Career Readiness program designed to assist young people with autism develop their skills in the IT industry while practicing professionalism and workplace skills that further prepare them for registered IT apprenticeship opportunities, employment, and/or college.

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