The George L. Cannon House of HOPE ( Helping Other People Excel) and Nicetown CDC are teaming up to prepare young people for the careers. The two organizations will present a 10-week career readiness program for ages 16 to 19 in Nicetown, and surrounding Philadelphia neighborhoods.

Eddie Graham, a Germantown High School graduate and vice president for GLC House, said that often inner city youth, specifically African-American students, aren’t prepared to deal with predominantly white corporate work spaces.

“So we want to make sure that they’re comfortable in that environment, making sure that they know how to conduct themselves in an interview,” Graham said. “How to successfully and succinctly answer the questions that the employer may ask.”

The Nicetown CDC will host the program in their center on Germantown Avenue. Each week students will focus on one of seven employability skills: positive attitude, communication, teamwork, self-management, willingness to learn, thinking skills (problem solving and decision making) and resilience.

Karen Jackson, president of the GLC House, said students will also work on resumes, cover letters and elevator pitches and receive counseling and advice from life coaches throughout the program.

“Everyone needs some kind of guidance regardless of how old you are if you want to be successful in life — you need someone who is going to coach you and encourage you, empower you,” Jackson said. “Give you good suggestions on how to navigate [through] some issues.”

GLC House has also provided programs to help young people change negative behaviors, get hands on experience with STEAM classes (science, technology, engineering, art, math) and develop leadership skills.

The career readiness program has been brewing for some time according to Jackson. She said the program is not just about obtaining jobs but, “keeping jobs.”

“Teach them you know, like how important it is that you really have to go to work,” Jackson said.

The ten-week program will begin Tuesday, February 4th. Registration is online, at the GLC website link: