Local Strategic Partnership Makes Access to Workforce Resources and Educational Services Easier for Northeast Residents and Businesses

Philadelphia, PA, USA, March 6, 2020

The Toben Center officially opened its doors as the first comprehensive workforce development center in Northeast Philadelphia. The Toben center is a strategic partnership comprised of workforce resources and educational services for local residents and businesses.

The Toben Center houses the Northeast Learning Center, a High School Equivalency Diploma Preparation Program and Testing Center, Harcum College, a post-secondary education option that offers select programs with affordable tuition and convenient evening hours, and the Job and Business Resource and Referral Center, sponsored by Philadelphia Works, the City’s Workforce Development Board.  

The Job and Business Resource and Referral Center connects area residents to workforce services and solutions throughout the city. Partnering with the educational services available in The Toben Center’s northeast location is an intentional effort to address the transportation barrier that many career seekers in the area face. The Job and Business Resource and Referral Center adds an additional access point to workforce resources where a PA CareerLink® center is not geographically located.  

A PA CareerLink® staff will be present at the Job and Business Resource and Referral Center to provide one-on-one career consultation and job referrals to career seekers. Additionally, this person will serve to assist residents in navigating the Commonwealth Workforce Development System (CWDS). CWDS provides online access to job openings, information about employers, and training opportunities.  

Not only will the Job and Business Resource and Referral Center operate to provide resources to career seekers, it will serve as a manufacturing hub. Since a large portion of Philadelphia’s manufacturers are located in the Northeast section of the city, the Center is easily accessible for them to conduct onsite recruitment, build a talent pipeline, access labor market information, and learn about the services available to them through The Southeastern Pennsylvania Manufacturing Alliance (SEPMA).

The grand opening of the center is an exciting opportunity for Philadelphia Works to show the power of partnership as it aligns with Governor Tom Wolf’s workforce priorities, outlined in his 2020 State budget address. PA State Representative Jared Solomon, Senator Tartaglione, Senator John Sabatina, Jr., and other key stakeholders gathered in full support of this strategic partnership at a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the Toben Center on March 5, 2020.  

Governor Wolf had the opportunity to tour the facilities, speak with the leaders of each organization, and address the media about the positive impact that the Center will have on the community. “This is what we should be doing to make lives better, to address a common barrier: workforce readiness,” said Governor Tom Wolf. The services provided within the Toben Center aim to eliminate two key barriers to workforce readiness, transportation access and gaps in job training.  


“Governor Wolf’s dedication to workforce is evident through these types of strategic partnerships; as the State’s largest workforce board, we strive to stay aligned with the Governor’s priorities,” said H. Patrick Clancy, president and CEO at Philadelphia Works.  “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,” said Clancy.  



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