PHILADELPHIA, March 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — SkillCycle, the upskilling, workplace learning, and coaching platform, has announced a new initiative with the nonprofit West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI), a program of University City District and one of the nation’s most successful workforce development organizations.
SkillCycle will supplement WPSI’s work by increasing access to jobs and career opportunities for underemployed Philadelphians. Recognized for offering businesses deep-dive, hourlong career coaching sessions and learning at scale, GoCoach has developed a different approach for WPSI participants, said CEO and Co-founder Kristy McCann Flynn. Each WPSI participant will receive five 30-minute sessions over approximately three months: once a week for three weeks, then once a month for two months. The sessions will be free to WPSI participants and delivered by members of the extensive GoCoach network of professional coaches.
For WPSI participants, SkillCycle professionals will offer support as accountability partners and sounding boards, providing a sense of stability and helping their coachees overcome challenges they face in real time as they work through their WPSI courses.
“Although our core work is with companies and their employees, we also know that learning can break cycles of poverty, unemployment, and working for wages that are too low to support a family on,” McCann Flynn said. “This is a new opportunity for us to show how companies can get creative with how they provide education and learning for everyone. Because if you’re not thinking of development and growth for everyone, you’re only exacerbating your current problems of skills gaps and turnover.”
WPSI initiated the partnership with SkillCycle, feeling it would be highly valuable to have someone from outside of their process work with participants, said WPSI Managing Director Caitlin Garozzo.
“At the Skills Initiative, we’re constantly striving to offer our program participants more tools to help them succeed in their career journeys,” Garozzo said. “Because no two participants’ needs are the same, we’re excited by this partnership with GoCoach and the flexibility it offers to help connect our participants and alumni to industry professionals who can guide them to success.”
WPSI will start its partnership with GoCoach as a pilot program for three groups of 15 participants each. It expects to offer the coaching to more than 200 participants over the next year, Garozzo said.
The SkillCycle partnership with WPSI follows GoCoach’s recent announcement of an oversubscribed $3.5 million seed investment round led by Panoramic Ventures. Different from its work with companies and employees, GoCoach will act as counselors or advisors for WPSI participants on any of a wide range of personal and job-related challenges and direct them to appropriate resources accordingly.
About the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative
The mission of University City District’s West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) is to connect local employers seeking talent to Philadelphians seeking opportunity. Since its inception, WPSI has served more than 1,300 formerly unemployed Philadelphians and placed 95% of its graduates in jobs that pay family-sustaining wages with robust benefits and advancement opportunities. Learn more at https://philadelphiaskills.orgSki