Connecting people with employers in Harrowgate

City Councilman Mark Squilla and Robert Kopec from Wawa

   Employers and resource vendors filled Heitzman Recreation Center’s gymnasium on Thursday night, January 2nd in Harrowgate to start the New Year. The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office hosted its monthly One Stop Job and Resource Hub from 5:00 to 8:00 pm with dozens of employers and resources targeted for the people of Harrowgate and Kensington.

   Employers included Philabundance, SEPTA, PGW, Temple, ShopRite and Wawa.

   “We’re just looking for qualified applicants to work in our stores, provide a great customer experience, great customer service, and just be part of the Wawa family,” said Robert Kopec from Wawa. Similar to many businesses, Kopec said that Wawa is looking for front line customer service — “Somebody who’s reliable, really good with people, can interact effectively, and just be someone we can depend on and just really get the job done for our customers.”

   City Councilman Mark Squilla roamed the room to get a feel for the job positions that employers were seeking to fill.  “There are a lot of different opportunities for people, not a lot of high salary jobs right now, but I think we have to start somewhere and get people into the workforce,” he said.

There are many stories of motivated people rising from entry level jobs to high levels in companies. Many of the jobs being offered at The Hub seemed to fit the potential for that situation. For many people, a steady paycheck simply helps with their ability to just get by.

“You always hear, when you’re hearing about nationally, that unemployment rates are down,” said Squilla. Certain sections of our City are still struggling. “Philadelphia being a little less than 26% people in poverty, we need to be able to help them find jobs to make themselves have a better chance to be able to survive.”   He added that opportunities like this can help provide jobs that people might not find online, and it’s great for the neighborhood that people are able to walk into an event right in their community to find a job.

The District Attorney’s Office calls The Hub an initiative to provide Philadelphians with access to dozens of employers, trauma-informed professionals, victim services, housing options, and social services. The Hub is held on the first Thursday of every month in different parts of the city as part of the DAO’s community service mission. Location sites are based on input from community stakeholders, law enforcement partners, as well as crime incident data, particularly as relates to gun violence. 

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