December 30, 2014 |
Angel Rodriguez was stuck, living in the projects in Camden, bouncing among low-paying jobs, struggling to support himself and his disabled mother. He had tried to find jobs that pay above minimum wage - more than the few dollars he earned working at grocery stores or as a cook in a hotel - but his resumé had an obvious gap. "Every job I would go apply to, they would go, 'Do you have a high school diploma?' " said Rodriguez, 22. "I would have tell them no, because I'm not the type of person to lie on my application.
October 22, 2014 |
What's the value of a high school education? Recent U.S. Census data says it's worth at least $10,386 - the difference between the average income of high school graduates and the income earned by dropouts. Seeking to help county residents earn high school diplomas - and potentially more money - the Camden County Library System has enlisted in a New Jersey State Library-aided program that offers a second chance to dropouts. The Career Online High School (COHS) program, which has brought a slew of new laptops to the county library system, can accommodate up to 35 county library card holders who are at least 19 years and have completed their freshman year of high school before dropping out. First to enroll in the program was Nancy Torres, 29, of Camden.
February 25, 2014 |
With a $25 million annual budget, Congreso de Latinos Unidos has a big impact in Hispanic and African American neighborhoods in North Philadelphia. Operating a health clinic and charter school, the nonprofit also offers programs dealing with parenting, housing, truancy avoidance, domestic violence, job preparation, drug abuse, mental health, after-school care, and HIV. Any one of the programs could have been a full conversation, but what Cynthia Figueroa, 40, Congreso's president and CEO, wanted to discuss was data and the importance of measuring whether programs actually made a difference in people's lives.
February 19, 2014
WITH THE RISING cost of college, people have been asking if it's worth the investment. But that might be the wrong question. We know that many employers demand a college degree - any degree - as a requirement for someone to be considered for an interview. It's frustrating for laid-off workers without degrees to be ignored or undervalued despite their years of experience and skills. That's the economy we have, with more people than jobs available. Still, if you have to borrow to go to college, the real question is not about the degree but rather the debt.
January 10, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA has 25 percent fewer jobs than it had in 1970, and while other major Northeastern cities have reversed the job-loss trend, Philly continues "bumping along the bottom," weighed down by poverty, unemployment and education problems, the Center City District's Paul Levy said yesterday. Levy released the results yesterday of the group's two-month study of the city's sagging job growth. Levy and researcher Lauren M. Gilchrist found that Philadelphia fell below comparable cities like New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Baltimore and Detroit on many measures that contribute to stagnant job growth.
November 18, 2013 |
TRENTON Giancarlo Tello, 23, didn't know he was in the United States illegally until he was a sophomore in high school and his mother told him he couldn't get a driver's license. Other realizations followed: Tello, whose parents brought him to New Jersey from Peru when he was 6, learned he didn't have a Social Security number. He couldn't work, except at odd jobs. And he couldn't receive financial aid to go to college or qualify for in-state tuition. While he earned enough as a tennis coach and computer instructor to attend Bergen Community College - hitching rides from his father, who woke him at 5 a.m. and picked him up from the school at 11 p.m. - Tello couldn't afford to continue a political science major he had begun at Rutgers University, he said Thursday.
September 24, 2013 |
KEIRA AVILES-RIVERA had decided she was going to get her life back on track by leaving her boyfriend and getting her GED. But just a few days removed from her breakup, neighbors said, the situation turned tragic yesterday when the 19-year-old's deranged ex-boyfriend allegedly shot her in the face and shot her 21-year-old brother in the back about 2 a.m. in a house on Margaret Street near Torresdale Avenue. About an hour later, police shot the ex-boyfriend blocks away after they said he pointed a loaded gun at officers and tried to take a cop's service weapon.
September 18, 2013 |
WHEN HENRY WELLS arrived in Philly back in 1975, he was on the lam from the feds. Henry was a bad man, as he would freely admit, and had been selling and using drugs in his native Florida like there was no tomorrow. And there might not have been a tomorrow if Henry hadn't experienced what he called a "moment of sanity" after his arrival here. Although he continued to wallow in the drug world in Philly for a time, it gradually dawned on him that there had to be a better way. With the help of a drug-rehab program and the support of a good woman, his wife, Margaret, Henry not only changed his own life, but set about changing others' lives as well.
May 25, 2013 |
Between her Easy-Bake Oven days and earning a culinary-arts degree came what Jackie Hill calls the "horrible" years. Now a 55-year-old grandmother, at 28, she was a single mother of five children, living in public housing and cleaning offices to make ends meet. It was a life Hill walked into after her father died, and she felt adrift. Pregnant at 16, she dropped out of high school. But she never resigned herself to a fate of just getting by. "I kept thinking about getting my degree," said Hill, of Norristown.
May 24, 2013
By Kathleen Owens Now, more than ever before, a college degree is a necessity for those entering the job market. Recent data from the U.S. Department of Labor show the glaring disparity between those who obtain a degree vs. those who do not: The unemployment rate for college graduates is 3.9 percent, compared with 7.5 percent for the workforce as a whole. The number of college-educated workers with jobs has risen by 9.1 percent since the beginning of the recession. For workers with a high school diploma, employment is down 9 percent.