For immediate release: June 27, 2019
PHILADELPHIA – In light of the imminent closure of both Hahnemann University Hospital and Philadelphia Energy Solutions’ (PES) refinery in South Philadelphia, Philadelphia Works, Inc. and the City of Philadelphia are working to identify all available resources from our local workforce system in order to mitigate the impact for laid-off employees.
Yesterday, the PES South Philadelphia refinery and Hahnemann announced plans to close, which will impact more than 3,500 workers in our region. Throughout the summer, Philadelphia Works, the City’s Workforce Development Board, and its partners will:
- Host PES- and Hahnemann-specific career fairs for displaced workers from the closing institutions in July.
- Engage same-sector/industry employers to identify and connect laid-off workers to current employment opportunities.
- Engage all employers, understanding that there may be opportunities for workers interested in transitioning to careers in related fields such as advanced manufacturing, logistics, or transportation.
- Prepare PA CareerLink® Philadelphia centers to address the influx of workers that will be in need of unemployment and workforce services.
- Provide mobile career services and benefits access, realizing that laid off workers may be more comfortable receiving services and enrolling in benefits in a familiar environment such as union halls.
- Partner with employment search firms to support workers with specialized skills.
“I’m deeply concerned about the impact that the closure of these large companies will have on local workers and their families, and I’m disappointed that we are seeing these closures happening in such quick succession,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “I want PES and Hahnemann workers to know that the City and all of our workforce development, labor, and private sector partners will do everything we can to help them during this difficult time.”
“Our priority at this time is to leverage every available workforce system resource and make them easily accessible to those who need them the most,” said H. Patrick Clancy, President and CEO of Philadelphia Works. “The entire system is working together to cover all areas of need for affected workers, focusing on placement, training, and supportive services.”
“The business community stands ready to assist in this concerted effort to create opportunities for displaced workers,” said Rob Wonderling, President and CEO of The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. “Working with the City, Philadelphia Works, and other business and civic interests, The Chamber will marshal resources to aid affected workers.”
“The strength of Philadelphia is never more evident than when we come together as a community – business, civic, governmental, educational – for the greater good,” said Daniel J. Hilferty, CEO of Independence Blue Cross. “I salute Mayor Kenney and the City of Philadelphia for these quick, concrete actions. It is a critical time to show our support for all of those impacted by these closings.”
“I thank Mayor Kenney for working with our union and many other partners to find ways to keep the hospital open. We also appreciate the City’s ongoing efforts to help our members get through this challenging time by working with District 1199C to help find other employment options if the worst case scenario happens,” said Chris Woods, District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund, added.
Ryan O’Callaghan, president of the United Steelworkers Local 10-1, said “USW continues to fight for every job at PES. We welcome all the employment resources the City and Commonwealth can provide and will continue to work together to support our members as much as possible.”
Hahnemann is a critical provider of care to the city’s already overburdened emergency departments,” said Maureen May, RN, president of PASNAP. “We thank city and state leadership for working together with Hahnemann nurses and healthcare workers to keep the hospital open. Mayor Kenney and Governor Wolf have a long history of commitment to the labor movement and patient care, and we know that they will do right by Center City patients.”
PES and Hahnemann are in cooperation with both state and city government agencies to provide the information needed to coordinate and expedite services. Employees of both entities are encouraged to visit www.phila.gov/support for available resources and details about the upcoming career fairs. Local employers interested in participating in an upcoming career fair can contact Timothy Smith, Manager of Employment Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Philadelphia Works:
Philadelphia Works is the city’s Workforce Development Board, investing in solutions and services to grow Philadelphia’s economy by connecting employers to workforce talent and career seekers to jobs. They influence the public policies that support economic growth and optimize funding and resources to invest in regional solutions to build a skilled and thriving workforce. For more information about their dedicated board members and staff, workforce research, labor market data, services and initiatives, and to view current opportunities to engage, please visit philaworks.org.