Voices of the Community: Table Talks

LNPWI is meeting with residents, community organizations, service providers, and employers to have candid conversations about employment and economic insecurity in North Philadelphia, and we need your voice.

Nose Poliard, MSW Intern at LNPWI, (center) chatting with residents at the first Table Talk.
by Kyle Tran, Photos by Kathy Chan and Matthew Altea

One of the central goals of LNPWI is to support the community as much as possible with all the provided resources. However, a forest cannot be formed with one tree. We need the voice from the North Philadelphia community to truly understand the needs and resources of North Philadelphia. To gain the community’s valuable insight, LNPWI has launched a Table Talks Series. During the Table Talks, LNPWI aims to connect with the community and have dynamic conversations with residents, community leaders, and local employers, about the realities of employment, unemployment, and workforce development for Youth and Adults in North Philadelphia. Based on the perspectives of the community, LNPWI will be considering all of the feedback received in these conversations to inform our approach to workforce development and increasing the pathways to success as we build our strategies for the future.

In addition, Table Talk participants will have the opportunity to learn about the educational and workforce development resources provided by Temple University, to start on a career pathway to success. These resources including the Community Hiring Initiative’s Monthly Job Readiness Workshops, PASCEP’s non-credit courses and  Workforce Connections Hub, adult literacy programming, youth programming, and New Choice Career Development Trainings.

So far, LNPWI has met with three groups of residents and a number of service providers and employers across North Philadelphia, and have heard a lot of useful feedback and solutions from the neighborhood. Some common themes included the need for increased accessibility to transportation, affordable childcare, increased wages, improved relationships between workforce development programs and employers, and increased access to middle-skill jobs. We also have learned that the barriers to sustainable employment for returning citizens, individuals with disabilities, veterans, parents, immigrant populations, and individuals with low-incomes look vastly different than the barriers experienced by someone outside of those groups. Based on these conversations, it is clear that to bring sustainable employment to the residents of North Philadelphia is going to require a lot of changes, but it is within reach. And while we’re off to a good start, we know that these conversations only represent a small portion of the diverse perspectives and experiences of employment and economic development in North Philadelphia. To get a full picture of North Philadelphia, we need to uplift as many voices as possible. 

If you live, work, worship, or play in 19121, 19122, 19123, 19125, 19130, 19132, 19133, and 19140 and would like to share your thoughts on the needs and solutions for sustainable employment,  host a table talk for your community, neighbors, or organization with LNPWI! Interested in hosting a Table Talk?  Please contact Shirley Moy at smoy@temple.edu.

LNPWI will be hosting the next Table Talk with the leaders of Faith-Based Organizations on March 27th at 8:30 AM in Shusterman Hall, 1839 N. Park Avenue. Space is limited, so please contact Rev. Michael Robinson at mike.robinson@temple.edu to RSVP.

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