Over the past decade, federal and state governments have invested in career pathways. In fact, Congress passed and President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act that includes strong support for career pathways and innovations for youth. Any career pathway approach targets occupations with many job openings and works with employers to grow a pipeline of skilled workers.

In Philadelphia, there is an increasing demand for skilled workers. Yet, many of our youth and young adults are unprepared to enter the workforce. We are experiencing a skills gap and students have a limited understanding of the career ladder jobs available to them and the associated requirements.

The fact is, today’s job market dictates that two-thirds of jobs require at least some education and training beyond high school. The future of our young people, then, begins long before high school graduation. One solution is to create a solid career pathway system in Philadelphia.

The Lenfest Foundation aims to contribute to a career pathway system that enables youth to engage in work experiences, graduate from high school prepared for the postsecondary options of their choice, complete necessary credentials and ultimately secure a living-wage career.

We partner with projects fostering a positive transition into the local and regional economy.


Our Goal


The Lenfest Foundation seeks provide financial support to organizations that are working to increase the number of high-quality pathways that equip youth and young adults with the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities.

To that end, the foundation seeks to support projects that aim to:

  • Increase access to career pathways programs
  • Create a coordinated system of high-quality service options
  • Build the capacity of practitioners in workforce development, twenty-first-century skill
    development, youth development, labor market trends and connections

Specifically, the foundation is excited to support career pathway solutions that focus on:

  • Career and technical education
  • Career-connected education
  • Workforce development

Details about the application process are available here.



Photo: YouthBuild Philadelphia