Guest Commentator: Cait Garozzo, Managing Director, West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, University City District @ucdphl

What impact do job training programs have on individuals who have been displaced from the workforce due to the pandemic?

Throughout 2020 and into 2021, it became clear how important job training programs were to those displaced by pandemic-related job losses. The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, and others like it, provided access to employment opportunities at a time when people were isolated, were afraid, and were being laid off from jobs they once considered secure. Our program offered a safe space for people experiencing the same fears and uncertainties about the economy, their health, and their job prospects to voice their fears and build community. We’re talking about people trying to survive a pandemic, who are worried about providing for their families, who may have been laid off, and we offered space where they receive top-notch job training, a stipend, and, perhaps most importantly, a sense of community to combat the isolation of the lock