Hon. Mayor John Linder and City Council, The Chester Youth Collaborative and the Chester Workforce Development Center hosted stakeholders, employers, and students for their Employer Paid Internship Program Invitational Breakfast, today at PPL Park.
A room full of eager business owners and operators formed partnerships set to pace the city toward economic redevelopment. Employers were encouraged by Mayor Linder to, “Bring a partner with you next year so that our network may expand and service more students with a wider range of skill sets.” To which Chester Youth Collaborative Director, Janet Riley-Ford added, “Bring them this year! We are anxious to see what this ‘first break’ will do for the spirits and progress of our youth workforce.”
Among several corporate partners present were representatives from, Widener University, Pentec Health Inc., Chester Community Improvement Project, Harrah’s Casino, and The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, as well as, Mr. Alex Charlton of The Delaware County Chamber of Commerce who lent his sure support to the internship program.
Kristie Barnes, a rising senior attending Lincoln University spoke to bring better understanding of the impact the program has on student in saying, “Often times when you hear of Chester, the comments are always negative. And, if you are told something repeatedly, you begin to believe it. The founders and operators of this program constantly tell the youth: Yes you can, don’t give up…hard work always pays off! This is what Chester needs a reminder that although we are not the perfect city, good still comes out of it.
The EPI program gives youth in Chester not only opportunities for a summer job but also experience in numerous fields, confidence in themselves on a professional level, and the push and hope they need to realize they can succeed.” In closing Kristie reminded all present professionals, “Never let an opportunity that can benefit you as a person, as a professional, or as a community member pass you by. Right now, you have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our Chester youth. I ask that you please take advantage of that opportunity.”
The City of Chester is working in conjunction with the Chester Youth Collaborative, the Philadelphia Youth Network, and The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce to provide summer internships for Chester residents ages 16-21 via the Chester Employer Paid Internship Program.
Businesses can still partner with the city for the EPI 2012 session by going to the website www.pyninc.org or contacting the Chester Workforce Development Center at 610.447.1424.