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

H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest | 1930-2018

Philadelphia lost a civic giant with the passing of H.F. Gerry Lenfest, who died August 5, 2018, at the age of 88. Reflecting on his life and legacy, it’s nearly impossible to imagine the Philadelphia of today without the incomparable leadership and largesse of Gerry Lenfest. The businessman and entrepreneur turned philanthropist extraordinaire ranks among the city’s most highly-respected and influential civic leaders, and the philanthropic path he blazed with his wife Marguerite will certainly have a profound impact on the fabric of our city for decades to come.

The Lenfests became wealthy from the sale of their cable business in 2000, and were among a new breed of donors whose mission was to give away the vast majority of their fortune during their lifetime.  In less than 20 years, the couple‘s giving has exceeded $1.3 billion. While the Lenfest’s philanthropy touched on a range of issues, Gerry is perhaps best known in Philadelphia for his financial support and leadership of some of the city’s major arts and cultural institutions, including The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Curtis Institute of Music, The Barnes Foundation, and the Museum of the American Revolution. His giving also made headlines recently when he purchased Philadelphia Media Network (owners of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News and Philly.com) and donated it to a newly-created nonprofit, the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, the first-of-its-kind organization dedicated to developing and supporting sustainable business models for great local journalism. 

Last year the Lenfests joined a distinguished roster of donors to be honored with the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. The award citation noted their innate modesty and hailed them for embodying the essence of generosity, altruism, and dedication to the common good.


Read more about the incredible life and legacy of Gerry Lenfest: