Above: Paul Johnson shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro during his PowerCorpsPHL experience. Photo Credit: PowerCorpsPHL.
The social, environmental and economic benefits we get out of having and maintaining the green infrastructure that makes up Green City, Clean Waters are a big part of why Philadelphia is taking the green approach to solving stormwater challenges. It’s what we call our “triple bottom line.”
One way we connect people with those benefits is by working with PowerCorpsPHL to train young adults in things like green infrastructure maintenance. As we've seen, that training is translating to real jobs right here in Philadelphia.
And right now, PowerCorpsPHL is looking for young adults between the ages of 18 and 26 who are committed to transforming themselves and their communities. The application period for the next round of youth closes July 3, so now is the time to act.
To find out how you or someone you know could end up working with PowerCorpsPHL and Philadelphia Water, follow this link.
Need proof the program can have a real impact? Here’s fresh testimony from three guys who did the work and now have real jobs they’re proud of:
“PowerCorpsPHL taught me a lot about the [green stormwater infrastructure] field that I’m going to be working in and gave me all the experience I need. They also hooked me up with the right people. My reference list was crazy! All the way from the Commissioner of the Philadelphia Water Department [Howard Neukrug] down. PowerCorpsPHL prepared me to bring patience, motivation, time management, networking, and delegation to the job. I also learned how to create and maintain statistical databases, use power tools, and perform location and navigation. And my communication skills definitely improved.” — Paul Johnson, Cohort 2 member and Cohort 3 Assistant Crew Leader on the GSI crew.
Where He Is Now: Paul now works in Green Stormwater Infrastructure maintenance with the green design firm AKRF and is studying to become a GSI engineer.
“PowerCorps was like gas for my car. They really give you the opportunity to show what you’re capable of. Whatever it is you’re good at, they pinpoint it and allow you to develop a career out of it. My original plan was to work for the Water Department, but I was allowed to be in certain situations where Mr. [Rich] Negrin [Managing Director, City of Philadelphia] was seeing my writing and speaking skills. If it wasn’t for PowerCorps, I wouldn’t be halfway to where I am now. I wasn’t even thinking about the type of work I’m doing now, let alone applying for it. PowerCorps was a life-changing opportunity.” — Marcus Bullock, Cohort 2 GSI crew member, Cohort 3 PPR Assistant Crew Leader.
Where He Is Now: Marcus received a job as a speechwriter in the Managing Director’s Office during Cohort 3, and has since been promoted to Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff.
“When I first started in PowerCorps I was basically the same hard-working guy. I’m a team player regardless. I’m a basketball player—a point guard—and I want my team involved. If the team needs a leader, I can be that leader. I know my place in whatever team I’m on. Whatever I need to do to make the team strong, that’s what I do…It’s not easy to get into PowerCorps. You have to go through a third party, so a lot of the guys I know are in the predicament I was in. So first I recommend RISE and then from RISE you can get to PowerCorps. It’s a process, and a lot of people don’t want to do the process. I’ve been doing this since I’ve been home, for a year and a half. You get what you put into it. A lot of people just want handouts, and that’s not what PowerCorps is.” — Keith Williams, a Cohort 2 PPR crew member and Cohort 3 PWD crew member.
Where He Is Now: Keith has been working in the mechanics shop for PWD since early May. He’s just passed his civil service exam and hopes to one day become a crew chief.
Although the July 3 deadline is fast approaching, another round of applicants will be selected this winter and contacting a PowerCorpsPHL Recruitment Partner now can help pave the road for entry into the program. Read more about how it all works here.