Quality Jobs Program: Fund Offers Living Wage and Benefits in Philadelphia

Job applicationImage by Gerd Altmann

PHILADELPHIA, PAPhiladelphia’s Department of Commerce recently announced the launch of the Quality Jobs Program, a fund that invests in eligible businesses creating new full-time employment opportunities that pay a living wage and include health insurance benefits for Philadelphia residents. The goal of this pilot program is to attract, retain and help businesses grow in our city while incentivizing employers to hire Philadelphia residents in jobs that pay family-sustaining wages. The inquiry form is available online.

“Our Administration is committed to investing in new, quality jobs that can improve access to economic opportunities and the quality of life for all Philadelphians. Alongside economic development partners, we are advancing equitable workforce strategies for residents and aligning resources to lift Philadelphians out of poverty. The more we equip businesses with inclusive growth investments, the more we can create quality jobs and fuel our economy,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The Quality Jobs Program is a pilot program that supports our city to remain economically competitive while helping Philadelphia residents to pursue their dreams. As companies continue to grow, we will also continue to prepare the next generation of our workforce for the jobs of the future.”

A quality job as defined by the program, must:

  • Be located in Philadelphia.
  • Be offered to Philadelphia residents.
  • Be full-time, permanent position working 30 hours or more per week or 1,500 hours or more per year. Cannot be defined as a temporary position or independent contractor.
  • Pay hourly wage as defined in Philadelphia 21st Century Minimum Wage Standard. Currently sets minimum wage at $15/hour through June 2023 and will be adjusted annually thereafter based on increases in Consumer Price Index.
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The business must also provide to its Philadelphia-based employees:

  • Employer-sponsored health insurance covering at least 50 percent of the cost or facilitating access to health insurance coverage (for example, by providing a stipend to purchase insurance on the healthcare exchanges).
  • Paid time off. The employer must offer a benefit to match or exceed the current City requirement for paid sick leave (one hour for every 40 hours worked), regardless of the number of employees.

“The Department of Commerce convenes workforce partners citywide to support the talent needs of employers, grow quality jobs and enhance the city’s economy. Commerce also invests in community-based organizations that identify and accelerate innovative, evidence-informed approaches to supporting un- and under-employed Philadelphians,” said Anne Nadol, Commerce Director. “The Quality Jobs Program is part of these strengthened alliances to grow quality jobs in every corner, in every commercial area of our city.”

The grant amount reimbursed through the Quality Jobs Program is based on the total number of new jobs created for Philadelphia residents. The participating business must commit to fulfilling one of the two options below within one year of application approval to meet program requirements:

  • For a business with less than 25 full-time employees
    • Commit to a growth rate of 20 percent for its full-time workforce in Philadelphia. Example: a company of five full-time employees will qualify by creating one new full-time job.
  • For a business with more than 25 full-time employees
    • Commit to creating at least five new full-time jobs.

Participating businesses must submit a final performance report at the end of the one-year grant term and will then receive a grant of $5,000 per new job created, up to a maximum of $125,000 per grant award. While funding remains available, the grant program will continue to accept new applications from businesses (including previous grant recipients) ready to create new quality jobs within a one-year period.

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“The City of Philadelphia Living Wage must be paid to all existing Philadelphia-based employees of the business receiving incentives from the Quality Jobs Grant Program,” said Dawn Summerville, Deputy Commerce Director, Office of Business Development and Workforce Solutions. “Incentives, such as these, can help attract and retain our city’s diverse businesses. We are committed to growing sustainable career paths and access to opportunities.  Philadelphia’s talent pipeline is imperative for attracting multinational companies while expanding the growth of the local business community.”

More information about the Quality Jobs Program is available here.

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