CareerLink and Youth Service, Inc. began a partnership around September of 2020 when a youth in YSI’s program was referred to CareerLink looking for help with a job. That’s where the youth was connected to CareerLink Youth Navigator April Smith. CareerLink’s Youth Navigator role is to helps support Philadelphia’s youth and young adults with resources not only with CareerLink but throughout the Philadelphia area. The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t stopped the tireless work between both programs.

“April Smith has been extremely fundamental in supporting the young adults in our program with workforce development,” said YSI’s Community Navigator, Joseph Hill-Coles. “With a whopping 80% connection rate and same day call back, April has been extremely helpful with connecting young adults to numerous resources, job training, secondary education, professional clothing, etc.”

With all CareerLink offices closed due to the pandemic, both programs have had to do everything virtually, which presented an unexpected obstacle for the young adults looking for employment.

“Because of the digital divide not everyone is able to easily connect to virtual services,” said Smith. “This has led to more follow up phone calls and text.”

Young adults in YSI’s care often face other obstacles to employment such as unstable housing, childcare, etc.

“Despite these challenges, the young people I’ve worked with from YSI are resilient and continue to adapt to be able to utilize services,” said Smith. “It is amazing to see so many of them overcome these obstacles.”

For more information on YSI’s Community Navigator and CareerLink’s Youth services please
see the flyers below.