To address current issues in a rapidly expanding sector, PHMC is presenting a free Early Childhood Education (ECE) Workforce Summit on April 30. This summit is the first phase in the Jobs Opportunity Investment Network's (JOIN) grant awarded to PHMC to pursue workforce development ideas for ECE in Philadelphia.

Aimed at ECE employers and employees, as well as community-based organizations, higher education institutions and professional-development organizations, the event will provide an overview of the ECE workforce landscape. Attendees will learn about current and prospective workforce initiatives, hear from stakeholders and participate in break-out sessions to brainstorm strategies to solve ECE workforce issues.

The summit comes at a time of significant transformation in the ECE landscape. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is working to expand pre-K, an initiative that will create thousands of ECE jobs in Southeastern Pennsylvania by September 2015. The region is unprepared to handle this employee demand. The childcare industry is growing at a rate of 17 percent nationally and at a similar rate locally. The need for qualified staff who meet stringent federal and state requirements has become a pressing issue.

The summit is presented by PHMC, Montgomery Early Learning Centers and the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children, with support from JOIN Win-Win, and initiative of United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.

The ECE Workforce Summit takes place on Thursday, April 30, from 2:00–5:00 p.m. at PHMC, 1500 Market St. The event is free, but registration is required by April 29. Please visit the registration site to sign up.