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A young lady participating in a mock interview. Photo: Starbucks
A young lady participating in a mock interview. Photo: Starbucks

Hire! Philly to host job and resource fair for young Philadelphians

The event on Oct. 4 is part of an effort to help Philadelphia transform its reality as one of the poorest major cities in the U.S., and help provide young…

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Hire! Philly, a coalition of leading U.S. and Philadelphia-based employers, is hosting a free job and resource fair on Oct. 4 geared towards Philadelphia residents between the ages of 16 and 35. 

The event will be an effort to create opportunities that include career resources, job preparation and entrepreneurship support, as well as immediate job opportunities for residents in the city.

Currently, there are about 400,000 Philadelphia residents who are living below the federal poverty line, and about half of them are in deep poverty, according to Pew Research. In addition to that, Philadelphia’s 26 percent poverty rate is the highest among the top 10 major U.S. cities, and Philadelphia County’s unemployment rate is also significantly higher than the national average.

Furthermore, the research also shows that the city’s poverty rate is highest among younger people. For instance, the poverty rate is about 35.6 percent for 18 to 24-year-olds, and about 21.4 percent for those aged 35 to 44. When you further break down the data to look at how poverty impacts race and ethnicity, Hispanics in this age group had the highest poverty rate at 32.5 percent, followed by Blacks at 28.3 percent, Asians at 21.9 percent, and non-Hispanic whites at 14.9 percent.

“There was an immediate need and ask to create opportunities for people ages 16 to 35, connecting them to resources and tools that can encourage economic independence,” said Sharmain Matlock-Turner, President and CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition.

The event will include more than 20 hiring employers looking for potential employees. These employers include Aramark, Comcast, PECO, PNC Bank, Starbucks, Temple University, Thomas Jefferson Health, Wawa and more. There will also be on-the-spot interviews and résumé building workshops available for attendees.

The Urban Affairs Coalition, which serves as a fiscal sponsor and a key partner in the Hire! Philly coalition, is one of Philadelphia’s largest nonprofit agencies with the mission of improving the quality of life in the region, building wealth in urban communities, and solving emerging issues.

Alongside Mayor Jim Kenney and in tandem with other businesses, agencies and nonprofits, there have been many efforts connected to the citywide workforce development strategy, Fueling Philadelphia's Talent Engine, to provide more access and help youth, young adults, minorities, women and other groups achieve better opportunities and improve their quality of life. A key component of that plan is to expand the number of high-quality summer jobs for young people, from 10,000 to 16,000 by the end of the mayor's first term in 2020.

“The Hire! Philly job and resource fair is the first step being taken ... to align with and partner with the city and other agencies to take a collective and impact-driven approach to Philadelphia’s workforce development,” Matlock-Turner said.

“This marks the beginning of a long-term commitment to breaking down barriers to jobs, and creating more economic opportunity for Philadelphians," she added.

The fair will place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Hall A on Thursday, Oct. 4 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Details on how to register can be found here

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