On Monday, July 1,  regional businesses welcomed 1,542 paid summer interns into their offices as part of the annual Summer Internships program. The program is part of WorkReady Philadelphia’s larger system of programs, managed by the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN), and strives to create paid workplace opportunities for youth throughout the region. Companies from large corporations to small businesses are participating in the six-week program in an effort to foster our region’s future workforce and change the lives of Greater Philadelphia’s youth.

The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, now in its seventh year supporting the Summer Internships initiative, is partnering with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and the City of Philadelphia, the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of CommercePhiladelphia Academies, Inc., and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey to encourage businesses throughout the Greater Philadelphia region to provide paid summer internships to youth in Philadelphia and Chester. The Chamber’s corporate partners in this initiative are TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank ® and Pentec Health.

“Summer internship opportunities play a crucial role in helping shape the future success of young people,” said Rob Wonderling, President and CEO, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. “As employers invested in the future of this region, it is our responsibility to provide Greater Philadelphia’s ambitious and talented youth with the chance to experience a professional environment, earn a paycheck, and develop their skills so they can become a valuable part of our region’s future workforce.”

Supporting a paid summer internship benefits both employers and interns greatly. Interns help employers grow their businesses by boosting summer productivity and completing important short-term projects. And internships represent a long-term investment in our region’s success because they provide young people the opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and the tools to become capable future employees.

The summer internships program has recently expanded to include Chester youth and businesses as a result of the success of a small pilot program for youth enrolled in the Chester-Upland High School. The program originated in 2009 through the support of the Chamber, the Philadelphia Youth Network and the Chester Youth Collaborative. Pentec Health is the corporate partner.