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career pathways
Connecting youth and adults
to their futures

Career Pathways

Equipping opportunity youth and adults with the skills and training to further their education, employment and career.

Why Invest in Career Pathways

Connecting youth and adults to meaningful career pathways is critical for economic growth. But many individuals are unable to access opportunities or secure stable employment. With the impacts of the pandemic, there are now more people in our region “disconnected” from school and the workforce than ever before. 

United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and our community partners prioritize reconnecting young people and adults to education, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities as a core strategy toward ending poverty in our region.

Now, more than ever, your support means promising futures for all.

The Impact of a United Force

 $1.59 Million Impact Fund Investments in Career Pathways

Students (Grades 4-9)


Participated in quality out-of-school programs.


Exposed to career opportunities.


Advanced grade levels.

FY 2021
Collective Poverty-Fighting Network of 60 Community Partners Across Nine Counties

The Impact of a United Force

$1.59 Million in Impact Fund Investments in Career Pathways

Young Adults


Completed a GED program or received a high school diploma.


Received job training skills.


Young adults gained employment. 

FY 2021
Collective Poverty-Fighting Network of 60 Community Partners Across Nine Counties

I understand the disconnect, bias and anger marginalized youth feel. I also know how people who truly believe in you,
can drastically change your path.
- Michael Banks, Managing Director, Career Pathways
A UPenn graduate and nonprofit leader, Mr. Banks fights for social justice by connecting young people and entrepreneurs to life-changing, community-lifting opportunities.

Career Pathways Approach

  • Investing in proven, evidence-based community partners that drive measurable change
  • Identifying gaps in the region’s early learning ecosystem
  • Advocating for critical issues across community and legislative partners
  • Promoting next-generation best practices to engage youth in the larger economy.



United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey supports our partners in ensuring young people receive academic support and access to quality out-of-school programming. 

All so they can stay on track and get their high school diploma or GED certificate, and be well positioned for continuing their education and entering the workforce. 


Together with our partners, we support equitable access to  career-building opportunities— especially for youth who face steep barriers entering our region’s workforce.  

We focus on training and learn-and-earn apprenticeships that: build knowledge, skills and confidence; provide exposure to in-demand, family-sustaining jobs; and encourage high school graduation.


United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey is supporting the build-out of an ecosystem for underrepresented entrepreneurs and business leaders. 

We partner with organizations whose programs help entrepreneurs secure capital, navigate the fragmented support system and change the narrative around business ownership in this region.



A Collaborative of Workforce Development Funders

The Job Opportunity Investment Network (JOIN) supports industry-led partnerships that train low-wage workers for high-demand, mid-skilled positions. Supporting JOIN means increasing the number of Greater Philadelphia workers earning family-sustaining wages.

Learn more about JOIN


Return on Investment from product sales to increased worker retention


Newly trained


Received degrees or industry-recognized credentials


Newly employed or got paid more


Built By Philly to elevate local entrepreneurship ecosystems to level the playing field for entrepreneurs and small business owners of color.

A proposed path forward to address historical racial barriers limiting access to entrepreneurial capital, business education and services, while creating new avenues for all of the city’s entrepreneurs to start, sustain, and scale their businesses.