About Us

Our Mission

Temple University’s Lenfest North Philadelphia Workforce Initiative (LNPWI) seeks to strengthen the earning potential of local communities by providing job training and career readiness programs that result in outcomes that lead to sustainable employment. Our work focuses on the 8 zip codes surrounding Temple University’s Main Campus and Health Science Center: 19121, 19122, 19123, 19125, 19130, 19132, 19133, and 19140.

Our Goals

  • Providing Data-Informed Workforce Development Programs and Training
  • Expanding Access to Supportive Services that remove barriers to employment
  • Fostering Connections and Collaboration in the Workforce Development Ecosystem
  • Supporting Human Resources Practices that Benefit North Philadelphia Residents

To learn more about our goals and strategies, check out Our Approach page

Our History

The Lenfest North Philadelphia Workforce Initiative was founded in 2018 through a grant from the Lenfest Foundation and support from Temple University. In this first year, LNPWI embarked on a Period of Discovery to better understand the barriers to sustainable employment for North Philadelphia residents, the gaps in the workforce development system that needed to be addressed, and the strengths of the system that should be uplifted. During this Period of Discovery, LNPWI took a community-driven approach to its exploration, engaging community residents, education & workforce development providers, employers, and workforce leaders to share their candid feedback and knowledge about the workforce development system, employment trends in the City, and how Temple University can best support its neighbors in securing employment with family-sustaining wages. This period of discovery resulted in the creation of LNPWI Strategic Plan, Driving Workforce Development Solutions for North Philadelphia, which identified priority populations of individuals who experience higher barriers to employment and outlined key areas for strategic investment and programming. 

Since then, we have been working towards our mission by providing workforce-related programs and resources to local residents that respond to unmet needs. In addition to our program offerings, we also partner with stakeholders, including other workforce development providers and employers, to strengthen the workforce development system’s ability to connect all North Philadelphia residents with career pathways that result in meaningful, family-sustaining employment. Some of LNPWI’s milestones to date include:

  • July 2019: Investing $1.8M to support innovative workforce development programs across the North Philadelphia target area 
  • November 2019: Forming the Opportunities for Workforce Leadership (OWL) Collective–a strategic partnership between education & workforce development providers dedicated to strengthening the workforce development ecosystem of North Philadelphia
  • January 2020: Introducing a community outreach worker position to meet residents where they are, share information on upcoming training and employment opportunities, and connect one-on-one with residents to hear their employment-related concerns. 
  • January 2020: Introducing a career coach to the team, to work with North Philadelphia Residents on achieving their individual career goals and connecting job seekers with employment opportunities. 
  • February 2020: Launching a self-funded MyPlace Campus offering evening and weekend hours in order to provide literacy assessment and adult education referrals to individuals outside of standard business hours
  • June 2020-December 2020: Collaborated with the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia to articulate the Career Pathways Ecosystem Model to serve as a framework for the work of LNPWI and the OWL Collective
  • April 2020: Invested an additional $1.88M to continue supporting our funded partners projects serving North Philadelphia. 

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