Center City-based nonprofit JEVS Human Services has just launched “Where Policy Meets People,” a podcast exploring the possibility of an inclusive economic recovery hosted by Kristen Rantanen, the org’s SVP of communications and public affairs.
The show talks about unemployment in Philly and across the country, and discusses what a post-pandemic labor market will look like. Rantanen will also talk with guests about who has been hardest hit by the pandemic and how those folks get back to work.
In its inaugural episode, Rantanen talks with Deb Sacca, a former chef who hurt her ankle and needed to find a new line of work.
“That landed me into taking jobs, just any job,” Sacca said of her injury.
A friend of a friend recommended someone who was looking to get a website built, and Sacca said she realized that she still had a passion for tech, a field she had worked in many years before. She eventually decided to explore a career in IT through PA CareerLink via JEVS.
She sought out to refresh her skills, and found a cybersecurity certification through CareerLink. She received a grant through a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act grant, and earned the certification last summer. Now, Sacca has been with a large tech company since February.
“I know people in industries right know who have been decimated by this,” Sacca said. “And some of them are rethinking, ‘Is this the career I want to be in? Is it the job I want to be in?’ And they’re in the same position that I was of, ‘What do I want to do with my life?'”
Hear more about Sacca’s career change, and from experts discussing what economic recovery for the region looks like in the show’s first episode below. And look out for more episodes discussing the obstacles to employment and recovery, which will be released in coming weeks.