Jennifer Tran, Director, Navy Yard Marketing & Communications
215-218-2854 or email@example.com
Chris Richman, Director of Marketing and Communications
215-243-0555 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline to apply is Friday, February 5, 2021 at 5:00 PM EST
University City District’s West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) and PIDC’s Navy Yard Workforce Development Initiatives (NYWDI) are launching their first collaborative professional development program to train West and South Philadelphia residents for permanent, full-time, quality-wage careers. Four Seasons Total Landscaping is the first employer partner at the Navy Yard to participate in the program and it will offer opportunities for graduates to interview for laborer positions starting at $14/hour. The partnership is made possible thanks to a $1.5 million investment from JP Morgan Chase Foundation to create a place-based network of employer-driven workforce programs in North, South, and West Philadelphia, building on and expanding the WPSI professional development model. The collaborative aims to replicate key aspects of the Skills Initiative’s nationally recognized talent solutions model, where 95% of participants are connected to employment upon successful completion of the program.
“The Skills Initiative has supported more than a thousand talented West Philadelphians in leaving behind long-term unemployment to secure, life-changing jobs,” said UCD President Matt Bergheiser. “We’ve long aspired to expand this work to other neighborhoods through strong and committed partners. PIDC and Four Seasons Total Landscaping offer a superb opportunity to launch this new workforce collaborative at the Navy Yard.”
In addition to its traditional focus on essential front-line positions with the area’s universities, health systems, and other large employers, WPSI has had tremendous success connecting West Philadelphians to landscaping positions through previous partnerships with Brightview Landscaping and in the development of University City District’s own Green City Works social venture landscaping business. Building on this model, WPSI and NYWDI custom designed the Grounds Maintenance Laborer Program for Four Seasons Total Landscaping to connect participants to the technical training, tools, and supports needed to build a meaningful career in landscaping. Four Seasons Total Landscaping is growing through new contracts with the Philadelphia International Airport and GreenUP (managed by the Philadelphia Water Department), as well as continuing in its role as one of the Navy Yard’s landscaping vendors for the past 20 years.
The Grounds Maintenance Laborer Program will be the first opportunity to utilize the Navy Yard campus for the green industry trades training. The 1,200 campus will provide participants a rich learning environment by combining several green industry job sectors all within one singular location.
“PIDC is grateful for JP Morgan Chase Foundation’s investment and their confidence in us and our partners to create a place-based workforce development program in South Philadelphia at the Navy Yard,” said Anne Bovaird Nevins, President of PIDC. “We are thrilled to collaborate with the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative to engage with Navy Yard businesses, including our longstanding relationship with Four Seasons Total Landscaping. At the completion of the first cohort, PIDC and WPSI will train and connect Philadelphians to quality jobs that offer benefits and sustainable full-time employment, and this is just the first of many to come.”
Founded in 1992, Four Seasons Total Landscaping is a certified women-owned business (WBE) and has grown from a small residential and commercial company to a full-service industrial enterprise. Four Seasons Total Landscaping services the Philadelphia International Airport and the Northeast Philadelphia Airport, handling both interior plant maintenance and exterior grounds maintenance. It has provided two decades of service and maintenance at the Navy Yard, including grass cutting maintenance, site weeding, mulch application, site porting, landscape installs, leaf cleanup, and snow removal.
“Four Seasons Total Landscaping is proud of our long-standing relationship with PIDC and the Navy Yard,” said Marie Siravo, President of Four Seasons Total Landscaping. “We are thrilled to have a role in this exciting program which will bring qualified candidates to join our growing team and set them up for a career in landscaping.”
The Grounds Maintenance Laborer Program is a cohort-based training model that will blend virtual courses and in-person sessions that maintain high standards of safety compliance in the face of COVID-19 to train for two roles: Grounds Maintenance Laborers earning $14/hour, and Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Laborers earning $18.98/hour. During the six-week program, participants will earn an OSHA-10 – General Industry Safety Certification, First Aid/CPR certification, and gain exposure to GSI work, plant beds, and small machinery. This hands-on training will be provided by Four Seasons Total Landscaping in partnership with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), who since 2017 has been transitioning the Navy Yard from conventional landscaping operations to a more environmentally conscientious management plan.
Four Seasons Total Landscaping has a multitude of contracts which allow individuals to gain experience in several ways beyond mulching, planting, and clean-up. This includes opportunities to learn cutting maintenance and GSI, as well as herbicide and pesticide state certifications. Laborers working for Four Seasons Total Landscaping can also be promoted into foreperson roles starting at $18/hour. The process from Laborer to Foreperson can take six to 12 months depending on need in the company, but Four Seasons Total Landscaping seeks to train and promote from within, meaning graduates of the job training program will have opportunities to move up in their career.
The program seeks goal-oriented, motivated individuals living in South & West Philadelphia with a desire to obtain full-time permanent employment in the landscaping industry. Successful candidates must thrive in a labor-intensive, fast-paced environment that operates in all weather conditions. A customer-first mindset and attention to detail and safety is a must for this position. Interested applicants can visit https://navyyard.org/workforce/jobs to learn more about the program and submit an application through Friday, February 5th at 5:00 PM.
With a generous $1.5 million grant from the JPMorgan Chase, PIDC is thrilled to officially launch its pilot workforce program in collaboration with University City District (UCD) and the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) and Temple University. Together, we will partner to build a place-based network of employer-driven workforce programs in West, North, and South Philadelphia.
These partners represent communities experiencing significant economic growth – at West and North Philadelphia’s anchor institutions, and at the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia. Since WPSI’s inception in 2011, program participants who had previously been unemployed for an average of 53 weeks have gone on to earn more than $30 million in collective wages while increasing employers’ productivity and excellence.
Building on the successful and proven West Philadelphia Skills Initiative model, PIDC at the Navy Yard will engage with our employers to understand their hiring needs, and then work to build talent pipelines in adjacent communities to advance workers into career trajectory jobs while addressing staffing challenges for businesses.
Adrian “A.J.” Adams will lead the Navy Yard’s workforce development initiatives as the Program Manager. He joins the PIDC team with the exciting opportunity to recruit, assess, select, train and place South Philadelphia residents in career-ladder jobs at the Navy Yard that offer stability and opportunities for advancement. Prior to joining PIDC, A.J. worked for the City of Philadelphia, Office of Workforce Development administering the City’s first-ever municipal-focused workforce development program, which was designed to create viable pathways to permanent employment for under/unemployed Philadelphia’s. With seven years of experience supporting adult job seekers, employers, and programs focused on career training, A.J. is an enthusiastic workforce professional dedicated to designing programs to help Philadelphians connect to high-quality employment. When not working A.J enjoys time with his family, being outdoors, and cycling. In August he will compete in his first mountain bike race, traversing 32 miles and over 2,800 ft of elevation in central PA.
JPMorgan Chase’s gift is a major investment in our collaborative work, and we are deeply grateful to them for their support. These funds will allow PIDC to continue to deliver on our commitment of an innovative, inclusive, and welcoming place in Philadelphia for workers to access life-changing career opportunities.