On Wednesday, Jan. 24, the College of Public Health’s Center for Social Policy and Community Development (CSPCD) and the Office of Community Relations–Pan-African Studies Community Education Program celebrated the opening of the new Workforce Connections Hub located in the university’s Entertainment and Community Education Center at 1509 Cecil B. Moore Avenue. The Hub will provide access to adult education, career resources, and training from a range of partners.
Founded in 1969, the CSPCD provides opportunities for Temple University students, staff and faculty to exchange creative ideas, resources and services with residents, grassroots organizations, social service agencies and government entities to addressing social and cultural determinants of health. Through its community health worker training program, the Center has expanded the healthcare workforce in the Philadelphia region.
In addition to offering adult education and workforce readiness programs for Philadelphia residents, the center has developed community planning models and violence prevention training programs, impacted social policies throughout the region, and contributed important evaluative work for social programs.
“The Center has made truly essential contributions to North Philadelphia and the wider city since its founding, and its focus expresses a basic truth: that eliminating social disparities is key to promoting and protecting the health and well-being of both individuals and populations,” said Laura A. Siminoff, Dean of the College of Public Health and Laura H. Carnell Professor of Public Health.
The new facilities open just a few weeks after the Center received a $614,000 grant from the City of Philadelphia to support 85 local youth aged 17 to 21 who are aging out of the city’s foster care system. The funding will assist young adults in pursuing employment and postsecondary education by helping them to earn college degrees, attain their high school equivalencies, and obtain job training in areas including customer service and information technology. The grant is one of 12 awarded as part of the Employment Connections for Opportunity Youth Awards; the College of Education also received a grant.
“Research correlates education with better paying jobs. Our goal is to help these youth explore their options for employment and education,” said Shirley Moy, director of the CSPCD. “For youth who don’t want to go to college, there will be training to make them more marketable around IT, computers and customer service. That’s a foundational skill set we want them to have.”
Photo caption: Since 1969, the Center for Social Policy and Community Development has connected community members with workforce training and career resources.