Gov. Tom Wolf helped with the ribbon cutting at the Toben Center in Northeast Philadelphia.
The Toben Center is Philly’s first comprehensive workforce development center, according to a release.
Wolf was joined by Sen. Christine Tartaglione, Rep. Jared Solomon, Toben Center tenants PhillyWorks, Harcum College and Northeast Learning Center to celebrate the ribbon opening.
H. Patrick Clancy, president and CEO at Philadelphia Works, said in a release, “As the State’s largest workforce board, we strive to stay aligned with the Governor’s priorities. The location of the Toben Center directly addresses transportation access and gaps in workforce training. The services provided in the center ensure that education and workforce resources are accessible at the same time, in the same space, lessening the burden on career seekers. In workforce, we work better together.”
It was reported that building upon programs like this is part of Wolf’s proposed 2020-21 budget.
“Workforce development is one of my highest priorities because Pennsylvanians can’t get good jobs without the training they need, and businesses can’t succeed without trained workers,” Wolf said in a release.
He added, “Last year, I signed an executive order creating the Keystone Economic Development and Workforce Command Center. I tasked a group of leaders from labor, business, and government with identifying hurdles that prevent workers from finding good jobs and businesses from finding good workers. The Toben Center will serve as a ladder up for residents of Northeast Philadelphia’s neighborhoods, and it will strengthen the business community by creating a stronger pool of educated, skilled workers.”
The budget proposes $12 million for competitive grants for opportunities that help address employment issues. There is also a $2 million increase to WEDnetPA, which helps with training existing employees.
“Today is a great day in Northeast Philadelphia as we celebrate the grand opening of a new, innovative approach to job and career training,” Solomon said in a release. “I am grateful to Gov. Wolf for visiting the Toben Center on Castor Avenue to re-affirm his commitment to help the people of Northeast Philadelphia build family-sustaining careers. The Toben Center offers a one-stop-shop for that we have never had before in my neighborhood, and with the Governor’s support, I believe this can be a model for other parts of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania.”
The Command Center identified hurdles that workers face and the Toben Center addresses them. Some of the issues the center addresses are child chare, re-entry, transportation, training and licensure.
“In today’s macro economy, employment opportunities are plenty,” Tartaglione said in a release. “Yet many Pennsylvanians find themselves unemployed or underemployed due to local economic conditions or business closings. I am thrilled that the Toben Center will offer the people of the Greater Northeast opportunities to enhance their education and skills, improve their marketability, and connect with potential employers. The center will help folks advance their careers and create a better life for their families.”