Local women seeking a career in technology may benefit by tapping into Step IT Up America.
Step IT Up America is a national program funding by UST Global which seeks to recruit, train and employ minority women in technology careers.
The program, which recently launched in Philadelphia, seeks to train and hire 1,000 minority women in 10 cities throughout the nation and provide them with the technological skills to launch successful information technology careers. The long term goal of the initiative is to create 5,000 new technology careers for minority women nationwide by 2020.
State Rep. W. Curtis Thomas will hold a Step IT Up seminar on March 7 from 9 a.m. to noon at Beech Interplex, 1510 Cecil B. Moore Ave.
The informational seminar will include a presentation on details of the Step IT Up program. Those who are interested in becoming a candidate for training will be tested and will have the opportunity to meet one on one with UST Global staff.
“These are 21st century careers that can provide family-sustaining jobs and ultimately, opportunities for individuals to develop their own technology businesses down the road,” Thomas said.
“This is a great opportunity for recent college grads or women looking to establish second careers. I am happy to present this informational seminar to the community in partnership with UST Global and Beech Interplex.”
Women who are accepted into the program will choose one of three tracks to pursue including quality analysis, business analysis or software development.
To be considered for the program candidates must have the following qualifications: bachelor’s or associate’s degree or currently enrolled in a community college or have at least six to 10 college credits completed; Working knowledge of basic computer functions and available for 12 week paid training (Monday through Friday).
Participants must register by March 5. To register visit http://www.pahouse.com/Thomas.
Mayor Michael Nutter called on the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce to make education funding its top priority for 2014.
Nutter referred to quality education as the greatest challenge facing the city, as he addressed the region’s business leaders during a luncheon held Tuesday afternoon at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown.
He referred to quality education as the greatest challenge Philadelphia faces in the 21st century.
“For each of you in this room, solving the education problem must become a business and economic imperative. If we don’t address this problem now, in 10 years, we won’t have a competitive workforce, meaning you won’t have a qualified pool of workers to fill available positions,” Nutter said to 1,400 members of the region’s business community who attended a luncheon held Tuesday afternoon.
“We need a predictable and sustainable funding system for public education in Pennsylvania — just like you look for predictable and sustainable revenue for your company. We need a statewide, student-weighted funding formula and we need one now,” Nutter said.
Nutter said public education should be funding based on the number of students in a district and the specific needs of those students- needs such as a second language, poverty or a learning disability.
With City Council passing the proposed cigarette tax, Nutter said the General Assembly needs to pass authorizing legislation which would provide more than $80 million of locally generated annual funding to the School District of Philadelphia. He called for the General Assembly to change the distribution of the one percent Philadelphia sales tax extension to a 50/50 split between the school district and the city’s pension fund, providing more than $70 million to each.
Nutter said he has worked with City Council to increase funding to the school district by $155 million annually for the last three years.
“I believe that investing in the education of our children is an investment in our collective future. It’s an investment in making our region more competitive,” he said.
Under the leadership of Superintendent William Hite, Nutter said the school district has made many difficult decisions for the fiscal health of the district such as closing failing schools, consolidating schools that weren’t operating at a cost effective level and reducing contracting services and Central Office staff.
Nutter said he is looking forward to working with Hite, members of the School Reform Commission and stakeholders as they go to Harrisburg to fight for fair and full funding for education.
GPCC Chairman Daniel Fitzpatrick applauded Nutter for his leadership concerning the city’s schools.
“The future of our city and region depends upon high quality schools that prepare every student for success in the workplace and in college. Ensuring our schools receive the funds that they need is a concern of every parent, every school administrator, every teacher and every employer in the city of Philadelphia and our region,” Fitzpatrick said. “The business community welcomes the opportunity to work on long term funding solutions for the city in conjunction with the mayor, City Council, the School Reform Commission and our representatives in Harrisburg.”
During his address, Nutter highlighted notable developments such as a recent announcement by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to build a high rise residential, retail and meetinghouse at 1601 Vine St. and an announcement by Independence Blue Cross that it is investing $50 million in health-related venture funds and early stage companies. Comcast is planning to build a new $1.2 billion Innovation and Technology Center that would serve as a technology epicenter.
Nutter also addressed the potential sale of PGW, which he referred to as a critical decision in developing the city’s energy sector. Nutter’s administration is in the midst of reviewing final bids for PGW.
“Selling PGW and unleashing the potential of this asset will increase the development of energy enterprises, reduce overall costs for customers and create a competitive advantage for our city,” he said. “Selling PGW is a necessary step to protect the stability of our city’s finances. Selling PGW will infuse hundreds of millions of dollars into our struggling and severely underfunding pension system — tackling a problem decades in the making.”
Nutter’s speech also addressed issues ranging from the lowering of wage and business taxes, a growth strategy for the city manufacturing sector and the launching of initiatives to help foster the start-up business community in Philadelphia.
Twenty high school students received the rare opportunity to be mentored by some of the city’s senior officials.
On Friday, the students participated in the annual Lockheed Martin Police Athletic League (PAL) Day at City Hall where they learned about the daily operations of government.
The PAL student participants are accomplished student leaders, star athletes, academic achievers, community volunteers, role models, peer counselors and tutors. They represented 20 PAL centers from across the city, including sites in North, Northeast, South, Southwest and West Philadelphia as well as Germantown, Port Richmond, Tacony, Chestnut Hill, Logan, Nicetown and Kensington.
“Through mentoring programs such as Lockheed Martin PAL Day at City Hall, government officials can be positive role models for our youth by taking part in their growth and career development,” said Mayor Michael Nutter. “By investing in our youth, we are able to empower them and help build a stronger Philadelphia for future generations.”
The PAL center youths joined Nutter, City Representative Desiree Peterkin-Bell, PAL representatives and public officials in a morning kickoff ceremony held in the mayor’s reception room. The students took an oath of office and were appointed honorary public officials for the day.
The students heard words of inspiration from Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey; Lt. William Eddis, PAL commanding officer; Ted Qualli, PAL executive director and Gerry Fasano, vice president of strategy and business development, Lockheed Martin.
“Each of these young people have the potential to become a leader in our city and thanks to partners like Lockheed Martin and the city of Philadelphia, they have an amazing opportunity to spend a day exploring public sector careers in a hands-on manner,” Qualli said. “We are especially grateful for the continued support from across city government as they recognize the importance of cops helping kids.”
Following the swearing in ceremony, the students networked at a luncheon and spent time shadowing and learning from an assigned senior-level official. In addition to Nutter and Peterkin-Bell, the students shadowed officials from the Philadelphia Police Department, Philadelphia Fire Department, Chief of Staff’s office, managing director’s office, Philadelphia prisons, City Solicitors office, District Attorney’s office, Department of Parks and Recreation, mayor’s press office, Philadelphia Commerce Department, Philadelphia International Airport, Department of Licenses and Inspections, Office of the Director of Finance, Department of Human Services, Philadelphia Parking Authority, Inspector General’s office and the Office of the Sheriff.
Alexis Colon, honorary PAL student mayor also offered remarks during the event. She aspires to become a future mayor of Philadelphia. Colon is a 17-year-old junior at Little Flower High School for Girls. She’s been active member of Harrowgate PAL for nine years, volunteers with “Get Out and Vote” campaigns and serves as student member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women.
Inspired by PAL employee and PAL Day co-founder Sally Berlin, PAL Day at City Hall was established more than 40 years ago.
PAL centers are committed to making a positive difference in the lives of Philadelphia youth through educational, athletic, recreational and cultural programs that encourage teens to become successful and productive citizens of their communities.
Charles P. Hammock was a former Pennsylvania state representative who had a passion for justice.
Hammock died on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014. He was 72.
He was born on Aug. 24, 1941, to Charles Hammock and Mary Jenkins Hammock. He attended Roman Catholic High School, where he was the 1959 Catholic League champion of the 120-meter high hurdles and was later inducted into the Roman Catholic High School Alumni Association Sports Hall of Fame. After graduating from Roman Catholic, Hammock attended Villanova University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics.
While matriculating at Villanova he continued to achieve many academic and athletic accolades which included running track and winning the Shuttle Hurdle Relay Team Championship in 1961.
It was during his time at Villanova that Hammock learned first-hand about the devastating impact of racial inequality, and the importance of being pro-active to combat injustice. His intellectual prowess and determination to be an advocate for social change led him to earn a law degree from Howard University School of Law.
“Charles’ passion for justice was a hallmark that distinguished him as a dynamic, civic minded leader,” his family said.
Hammock was a state representative for the 196th district from January 1973 to November 1976. He was a founding member of the Black Political Forum.
During the 1970s, he served as board chair of the National Office for Black Catholics. In 1971, he led a delegation to Rome to meet with Pope Paul at the Vatican to encourage the appointment of a Black Bishop.
His family said throughout the years, Hammock’s zeal for the social, political, and economic transformation of African-Americans inspired him to continually give to others. He mentored many high school students and served as a judge in the John S. Bradway High School Mock Trial Competition held annually at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law.
Hammock used his position of influence to promote a message of equality as a contributing writer and columnist for the Philadelphia Public Record newspaper and other major news publications.
His last work as historian, creative consultant and lead actor was his portrayal of Frederick Douglass for Philly Cam’s TV program “Conversations Across Time.”
“His gifts of charisma and eloquence, coupled with a powerful presence touched all those who were fortunate to call him co-laborer, brother and friend,” his family said.
He was preceded in death by his brother Roger V. Hammock.
He is survived by his sister Debra Hammock-Nocho (Charles); sister-in-law, Patricia Hammock; nieces Treshia Hammock-Wilson (Clifford), Romonua Hammock, Tymalene Hammock and Kirstyn Nocho; nephew Kyle Nocho and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held on Feb. 28 at 10 a.m. at Saint Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church, 20th and Christian streets.
Walter J. Jackson formerly operated a family-owned radio and television repair business.
He died on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. He was 78.
He was born on Nov. 5, 1935 to the late Alfred Jackson and Anna Mae Jackson.
He was known as “Chuck” by family and friends. Jackson received his formal education in the School District of Philadelphia and was a graduate of Overbrook High School. In 1958, he was drafted into the United States Army where he served in the color guard as a flag bearer.
He married Darlene Marriott in 1960 and two children were born to their union. Their union was subsequently dissolved.
In addition to co-parenting, Jackson worked with his father at the family’s radio and television repair shop. After his father’s death, Jackson continued to run the shop until he retired.
His family said he was a dedicated worker and financially savvy, even in his youth. As a teen, he had a successful paper route. Jackson earned enough money to employ others, take his workers on trips to the shore, and to eventually buy a car. He loved cars and dancing. Jackson was a man of many words, a good storyteller, and an excellent record keeper. If you needed a receipt or a manual from 20 years ago, he had it. He was a very private person and remained so until his death.
Jackson’s family said he was blessed with a long, healthy life. He continued to drive and live independently until his passing.
He was preceded in death by his brother Marvin R. Jackson.
He is survived by his sons Mark A. Jackson and Stephen C. Jackson; grandson Marcus Jackson and siblings Russell A. Jackson, Jr., Larry Jackson, Barbara A. Jackson, Yvonne Jackson and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held on Feb. 24 at Second Baptist Church of Germantown, 6459 Germantown Ave. Viewing is at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m. Burial is private.
Bruce R. Hawkins Funeral Home handled the arrangements.