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Invest in jobs programs to lift Philadelphians and Pennsylvanians out of poverty

This petition had 233 supporters


Despite the decrease of unemployment rates since the Recession, countless people who want jobs cannot get them, including people with criminal records, young people, and people with disabilities. Pennsylvania and Philadelphia should create jobs programs, using existing funding sources, so that people who are looking for work can support their families.

Many Pennsylvanians are shut out of the labor market despite their best efforts. Take Monica, a teen mother who lives with her baby at a homeless shelter in Philadelphia. She recently completed probation for a single misdemeanor conviction for possessing marijuana. Monica has been diligently searching for a job, but she can’t find an employer willing to hire a young woman with a minor criminal record.  She has been turned down by several employers, including McDonald’s and clothing stores.

To give Monica and other people living in deep poverty a real chance at self-sufficiency, subsidized jobs programs are essential. Jobs programs create public jobs that benefit everyone by improving infrastructure or public services, and they create financial incentives for small businesses and other private employers to hire new employees. Jobs programs can help workers with employment barriers, such as young people, people with criminal records, and people with disabilities – groups who remain severely underemployed even as Pennsylvania as whole recovers from recession.

Jobs programs don’t just fight poverty; they also save taxpayers money. The cost of incarcerating someone is $42,000 per year. The cost of caring for someone experiencing homelessness is $40,000 per year. The cost of connecting someone to a subsidized job for one year is just $25,000.  Federal, state, and local funding already exists that can be used to cover the costs of jobs programs.

Sign this petition to tell Philadelphia and Pennsylvania that they should invest in jobs programs for their residents facing persistent unemployment, to lift families like Monica’s out of poverty while improving our communities. If you are having trouble finding a job because of barriers to employment, please consider sharing your story in the comments.

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