By: Olivia Lamborn
The Temple Cares Bridge to Employment program, hosted by the Temple University College of Education’s Intergenerational Center, is breaking new ground in their pathway to providing young Philadelphians with the skills they need to get ahead in the healthcare industry. Temple Cares is a workforce development program geared towards young adults in North Philadelphia ages 17-24 who are currently not in school or working. The organization gives participants useful tools to boost their career experience and land a job in positions like behavioral technicians, certiﬁed nurse aides, and medical office personnel. Through career training, supportive services, and paid internships, Temple Cares equips students with the knowledge, skill development, and experiences necessary to secure stable careers in the healthcare field. In addition, successful Temple Cares participants receive an industry-recognized credential which makes them competitive candidates in the job market. Once students are hired, they can work as a job coach to help mentor others who are looking to follow in their footsteps.
Temple Cares has seen an exceptional amount of success because it places young adults directly on track for the career they are looking for. Dr. Patience Lehrman, Assistant Dean of Workforce Development at Temple’s College of Education and founder of Temple Cares, takes pride in the fact that there is now an organized way of connecting young adults to work opportunities in a place where there was little organization before. “I was particularly struck by the lack of a coordinated strategy in higher education to support the training and employment needs of under-served youth who are not college-bound,” she says. Dr. Lehrman mentions that the Temple Cares model has now been replicated across Temple University as well as other higher educational institutions in Philadelphia. Temple Cares’ accomplishments have shown that the combination of on-the-job experience, individualized support, and direct employer engagement is the recipe for success in workforce development. As Temple Cares demonstrates, this helps to break down significant barriers that often keep people from progressing in their careers.
While Temple Cares has found great success, what is most rewarding, says Dr. Lehrman, is the organization’s ability to empower young people— especially young adults who now have the resources and support they need to take charge of their destinies. In North Philadelphia specifically, individuals are given the chance to leverage their own skills, change their lives, and positively impact their families and communities. The program intends to mobilize a wider community of providers who are keenly focused on addressing the needs of North Philadelphia. They also plan to scale the program up and engage more young adults in the coming years. In this way, Temple Cares can deepen the collective impact they have on local neighborhoods, in hopes of moving more people from the community out of poverty and into more meaningful workforce opportunities.
LNPWI is a proud partner of Temple Cares and thanks them for their hard work in North Philadelphia. For more information about how to get involved with Temple Cares or to apply to one of their programs, please visit their website at https://education.temple.edu/templecares/.