Floyd Leath, Jabir Sims, Robert White, Darrell Alexander, Kyle Bedley, Ross Castleberry (shown above) show up for work every day. Even during the pandemic, the six men would remind Corridor Manager Amelia Price, “we want to work.” A recent post by Denis Murphy, Senior Director of Corridor Improvements for the Philadelphia Department of Commerce, titled “New Preliminary Report Highlights Impact of PHL Taking Care of Business Clean Corridors Program,” reflects their collective impact.
Denis references Econsult Solutions, Inc. preliminary report regarding the community impacts of the PHL Taking Care of Business Clean Corridors Program (PHL TCB) on the city’s commercial corridor. PHL TCB expanded the Department of Commerce’s existing commercial corridor cleaning program from 49 to 83 corridors throughout the city. The Broad, Germantown, and Erie commercial corridor is covered by Called To Serve. The Broad and Erie SEPTA subway stop is the 3rd busiest on the Broad Street Line, with over 7,000 boardings per day. The corridor is home to over 60 small businesses and includes Temple University Hospital, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple, and Shriners Hospital.
Floyd, Jabir, Robert, Darrell, Kyle, and Ross serve as Cleaning Ambassadors at Called To Serve (CTS), a Department of Commerce corridor cleaning program partner. PHL TCB allowed CTS to expand our staff and significantly impact our shared goals of providing residents and workers with a welcoming shopping experience. Like PHL TCB, CTS is committed to the growth of our Cleaning Ambassadors to help them move into careers of their choice through our Jobs for People, People for Jobs, Career Pathways Program. Five of the six current cleaning ambassadors are returning citizens, a particular focus of CTS. CTS Executive Director Rev. Jeffrey Harley describes our program as providing “structures of support” for all staff members.
PHL TCB and the CTS Jobs program view the Cleaning Ambassadors through the prism of a triple bottom. The Ambassadors earn a salary, their work contributes to a clean neighborhood commercial corridor spurring neighborhood economic growth, and the ambassadors gain skills and information beyond their wages. The CTS ambassadors have earned their OSHA certifications through an online course offered through the PHL TCB program. Note: Ambassadors used computers donated by CTS partner Temple University Computer Recycling Center with peripherals and accessories purchased through the support of CTS donors. CTS has brought two professional development training organizations. The Ambassadors completed a “Personal Development Strategies” session in which they prepared personal vision and mission statements and a second on “Workplace Communication.”
CTS Jobs program searches out opportunities for participants. Through community partner North 10 Philadelphia, Jabir enrolled in the Construction Apprentice Preparatory Program. Jabir recently interviewed with a local union. Please join us in praying for a successful outcome. CTS also works with District Council 21 (Painters, Drywall Finishers, Wall Coverers, Glaziers, and Glass Workers) and their Organizer, Roberto Rios.
Jabir and Darrell reflect on their thoughts about our Jobs program here (Jabir, Darrell).