Nutter challenges employers to hire 10,000 Philly youth this summer

Mayor Nutter on Monday encouraged employers to hire 10,000 Philadelphia youth this summer as part of his Summer Jobs Challenge.

Summer jobs and internships “provide young people with valuable work experience, put money in their pockets and teach them the value of a dollar -- regardless of whether a dollar is actually worth a dollar today anymore. That’ll be a different speech,” Nutter said at a press conference.

WorkReady Philadelphia, which is managed by the nonprofit Philadelphia Youth Network, organizes the summer jobs drive. The program served 6,000 city youth last year, but it had to turn down 8,000 applicants because there weren’t enough positions.

Those who wish to support the program can hire teens or subsidize positions at companies that don’t have the money to do so by visiting

The mayor on Monday related how he worked at his neighborhood drug store from 8th grade until college -- an experience that “caused me to start thinking about my future,” he said.

Nutter said said he will be making phone calls to employers who do not participate in the program.

“As much often times people do enjoy talking to the mayor, if you get one of these calls, I would suggest that you’re probably not going to be that excited, so do yourself a favor. Call us first. Put us some jobs,” the mayor said to laughter. “Otherwise I’m going to be calling you personally. It will be a very short conversation. It will be mostly one way. You will just say, ‘Yes,’ when we are done, and I will say, ‘Thank you and goodbye.’ ”