WPSi Alumni Newsletter
Hey Alumni - we've been throwing a lot at you lately. This newsletter will break down the purpose of our new Alumni Exclusive Job Newsletter and where you can find community resources.

We also wanted to highlight some WPSI Alumni who have shared their experience or advice as essential workers during this time. If you are an essential worker and would also like to share your story, email wpsi@universitycity.org.

Be sure to text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive city updates on the virus to your phone or visit this link for constant updates at noon.
WPSI Survey
We hope that some of the opportunities and resources that we share are helpful to you during this time. However, if they are not and your current needs are not reflected in our efforts we'd love to hear from you. Let us know how you're doing or how we can help by filling out a brief survey.
In addition to this survey, WPSI staff will also be calling alumni just to check-in to see how you're doing. So if you get a call from a random number - it may be us!
In our previous Alumni Newsletters, we have been sharing community resources that may be useful to you and your loved ones at this time. These resources will now be updated on our website. Check it out to find out about local support regarding childcare for essential workers, education, food access, and more.

Last month you received a newsletter for Job Opportunities exclusively for WPSI Alumni. The job opportunities that we share through these newsletters are for positions in which we have a direct relationship with the employer. If you apply to any of the positions listed, it's important that you do the following so that we can give the employer a heads up about your application. We will also provide advice on strengthening your resume to be considered for the position:

  1. Forward your email confirmation and the job title of the position to wpsi@universitycity.org
  2. Send your updated resume to wpsi@universitycity.org

After you send in your email confirmation and resume:
  1. Tiffany Smith will confirm that we have received your information or request any missing items
  2. Romaine Thrower will forward your name to our employer partners and follow up with you on any next steps

We will also include Job Opportunity Recaps in this monthly newsletter. Check out some of the positions that are still hiring below!
WPSI is Working Remotely 💻

In order to protect the safety and well-being of our community, the WPSI office is temporarily closed, and the WPSI staff will be working remotely until further notice. However, we are still here if you need us! Shoot an email to wpsi@universitycity.org if there is anything we can help you with.
Alumni Events and Programming
Virtual Coaching with Coach Kala

Coach Kala is offering the following online coaching services for WPSI Alumni only: 

Talk About it Tuesdays with Coach Kala    

What: A group chat with WPSI Alumni where the topic is always YOU!  
When : Every Tuesday evening at 7pm 
Where : BlueJeans Mobile Video Conferencing App

One-on-One Coaching  

Coach Kala is also offering one-on-one coaching on Wednesdays and Thursdays.  

Tax Consultations with Enrolled Agent
In lieu of the last tax event, our facilitator Taylor Keitt, EA, will be providing phone consultations to assist you with any questions or guidance needed to file your taxes. Click here to sign up.
Get an Updated Resume from WPSI Staff 📃
If you are currently applying or looking for jobs in a new field, reach out to us to work on updating your resume! 

Directions for resumes:  
  1. In order to receive an updated resume we ask that you do the following:  
  2. Complete a short survey by clicking this link.
  3. Email the resume you received from WPSI to wpsi@universitycity.org.
  4. Email a link or copy of the description you are applying to to wpsi@universitycity.org. 
  5. After all steps are complete, you will receive confirmation from WPSI that your resume is in progress. If we need any additional information from you, we will let you know.  

Resume updates will take 7-10 days. We will let you know if there is any change to that schedule!
Brandon Everett • Virtual Mindfulness Meditation Classes
Brandon, our Mindfulness facilitator, is hosting virtual mindfulness sessions on Sunday and Monday evenings via Zoom. These classes are 100% FREE, but donations are welcome. If you decide to attend, shoot us an email at wpsi@universitycity.org and we will donate on your behalf.

Hear from Alumni Essential Workers
“Stay home as much as possible, take this time to do something you’ve always wanted to but didn’t have to time to do. Create new routines and don’t stress about the old one. Form new healthy habits if necessary. Take this time to appreciate being close to family members and loved ones that you are home with and pray more than ever.” 

Jennifer Hines
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia • Patient Sitter
June 2019 WPSI Graduate
“At first seeing everyone staying home, posting about 'see a shot, take a shot,' etc. - I felt a way. Now, seeing all this going on, I'm happy to be working through it because being locked in a house would drive me crazy. But not only that, to have income coming in and still being able to pay your bills, to take care of your family, to have food in the refrigerator - it’s very humbling. So, I would just say to everyone: stay encouraged and build bonds and relationships and be thankful for everything that we have because in this time, you recognize not to take things for granted and nothing is promised. Being an essential worker not only gives me security but also a sense of relief when there seems like there is none.” 

Jacquelyn Saunders
University of Pennsylvania Facilities and
Real Estate Services • Custodian
October 2019 WPSI Graduate
“Being an essential worker has taught me the valuable lesson of being thankful. I am thankful for having a job in this difficult time but also because now I get to spend more time with my family due to them working at home and staying home from school. Whenever I am home, now is the time where I get to create great new memories with my loved ones in a difficult time. My word of advice to everyone is that hard times don’t last forever and to stay strong and be safe."

Gabrielle Butler
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia • Patient Sitter
December 2019 WPSI Graduate
From Sarah Steltz, WPSI's Executive Director
Over the 10 years that WPSI has been in operation, we have run programs connecting graduates to careers as patient sitters, medical assistants, bus operators, and landscapers. We have long known what the rest of the country seems to be waking up to during this pandemic : frontline workers are essential to us all . Not only do these roles keep organizations running and profitable, but they often have the most direct interaction with customers, upholding the organization’s brand in public every day. Essential workers in these roles should be acknowledged, compensated, and developed in a way that recognizes their critical role in the success of any operation.

At WPSI, we’ll continue to advocate for those things, and through our alumni professional development program, we hope to make our own investments in the careers of our graduates. But, for now, we’ll join the rest of Philadelphia in saying thank you. We see you, and we appreciate you in this moment and in those to come.
Alumni Exclusive Job Opportunities Recap
Kencrest is still seeking Direct Support Professionals!
Do you have a passion for supporting and helping others? If so, you may be interested in applying for a position as a Direct Support Professional with Kencrest. Pay rate: (12.50/hr.)
CVS is actively hiring for the following positions
  • Cashiers/Salesclerk
  • Pharmacy technicians
  • Store Supervisor Trainees
If you apply to any of the positions listed above, forward the email confirmation showing which position you applied to, along with your updated resume to wpsi@universitycity.org.
Be sure to visit the our Instagram @westphilaskills for additional resources shared on our story and
COVID-19 Highlight.
Meet three graduates of University City District’s West Philadelphia Skills Initiative who are on the path to realizing their career dreams with Philadelphia employers:
Matt Bergheiser
University City District

Patrick Bayer
Manager, Continuous Improvement

Caitlin Garozzo
Senior Manager, Learning & Development

Fontaine Gutierrez
Operations Coordinator

Mariya Khandros
Project Manager
Sarah Steltz
Executive Director,
West Philadelphia Skills Initiative

Joshua Park
Senior Manager, Employer Services

Diamond Poyer
Manager, Training & Evaluation

Tiffany Smith
Alumni Services Coordinator

Romaine Thrower
Manager, Employer Services
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