Navy Yard Skills Initiative Connected More Than 60 Philadelphians to Jobs in 2022

by Navy Yard
January 4, 2023

Since its inception in August 2020, more than 120 Philadelphians have participated in 8 cohorts of PIDC’s Navy Yard Skills Initiative (NYSI) training programs, but 2022 was by far the most successful year of NYSI in connecting Philadelphians to meaningful employment in growing industries within the Navy Yard.

NYSI training programs are designed for individuals who have been disconnected from the workforce or who have limited professional experience to strengthen the skills and abilities that employers need. Through a partnership with University City District’s West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI), NYSI recruits for a collaborative professional development program to train Philadelphia residents for permanent, full-time, quality-wage careers.

2022 by the Numbers

  • Cohorts: 6
  • Participants served: 93
  • Graduates connected with full-time quality jobs: 62 + 13 participants in the externship at Iovance Biotherapeutics for the Biomedical Technician Training Program (January 2023 – March 2023)
  • Placement rate for graduates: 88% of those who graduated from programs, including the 13 Iovance externships, were placed in full-time positions. This placement rate will increase after Jefferson graduates are hired.
  • Average starting wage: $17.37/hour
Date Employer Position Starting Wage Participants Served Participants Graduated Job Offers
Jan-22 Tastykake Production Associate $17.17 16 12 12
Mar-22 Philly Shipyard Inc. Apprentice $17.13 17 16 15
Jun-22 Tastykake Production Associate $14.65 16 12 12
Sep-22 Iovance Biotherapeutics Aseptic Manufacturing Technician $23.00 17 13 current participants 13 offered externship opportunities
Sep-22 Philly Shipyard Inc. Apprentice $17.13 9 6 6
Oct-22 Jefferson Health Patient Registrar $15.15 18 16 9 (job placement + interviewing in-progress)

Biomedical Technician Training Program: Aseptic Manufacturing Technician

In August, five organizations partnered to design a new biotech training program to connect Philadelphians with quality jobs in the region’s rapidly growing life sciences sector.

The Wistar Institute, West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, Iovance Biotherapeutics, PIDC, and The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia collaborated to create a new workforce development training model to connect biotech jobs with a wider range of Philadelphians, including residents from disadvantaged communities. In a field that often requires PhDs or master’s degrees for most roles, the program – “Biomedical Technician Training Program: Aseptic Manufacturing” – creates opportunities for Philadelphians with at least a high school equivalency. The initiative is one way the region is working together to meet the talent needs in its rapidly growing cell and gene therapy sector.

Read more about the 22-week program here.

2022 BioBuzz Workforce Champion of the Year Award

In December, the Biomedical Technician Training Program was awarded Workforce Champion of the Year in the 3rd Annual 2022 BioBuzz Awards. The Workforce Champion Award recognizes the program or organization that has made a measurable contribution to enhancing the biotech workforce within the region.

You can read more about the award here and watch the acceptance video below.

NYSI participants in the Biomedical Technician Training Program: Aseptic Manufacturing Technician cohort.
NYSI participants are briefed in a Philly Shipyard, Inc. cohort.
Graduates of the NYSI Tastkake cohort pose for a picture.
Participants of the NYSI Jefferson Health cohort attend a training session.
Graduates of a NYSI Philly Shipyard, Inc. cohort pose with Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon as she awards a $525,000 check to the NYSI.