Clergy Leaders Roll Out Hiring Strategy For Philadelphia Airport Expansion Project

New Airport "Jobs-Policy Agreement" helps unemployed and underemployed Philadelphians and is the focus of an Interfaith Prayer Rally on March 29, 2012
POWER! Founding Convention September 2011
POWER! Founding Convention September 2011
March 21, 2012 - PRLog -- Philadelphia, PA: Encouraged by headlines that the Philadelphia Airport Expansion Project will move forward, POWER! (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild) is calling on City Leaders to make sure the agreement is done not only quickly, but correctly. More than 200 members of POWER!’s Leadership Assembly recently ratified a new “Airport Jobs-Policy Agreement” that maps out a hiring strategy for the Airport Expansion Project which includes assurances that long-term unemployed residents, from high-poverty city neighborhoods, get training and hiring preference for new jobs created. (see complete "Airport Jobs-Policy Agreement" below).

In order to garner support for the new "Airport Jobs-Policy Agreement," more than thirty (30) inter-faith leaders, representing 25,000 members of POWER! congregations in Philadelphia, will dress in full clergy regalia and lead a prayer rally at the Philadelphia Airport on Thursday March 29, 2012 at Noon to urge PROPER action on the airport expansion project. The clergy leaders are from different churches, synagogues, and mosques around the city which make up the organization POWER! (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild ). “POWER! congregations serve thousands of Philadelphians who are either unemployed or underemployed,” says Bishop Dwayne Royster, Pastor of Living Water United Church of Christ in Kensington and POWER!’s Executive Director.  “In addition to easing airport delays for people traveling through Philadelphia, this economic development project should be used to address long-standing poverty and joblessness in our hardest hit neighborhoods.”

The prayer rally on Thursday March 29, 2012 at the Airport (exact location TBD) will be in support of the upcoming $6-billion airport expansion project which includes building new runways and terminals that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and city officials say will ease congestion. The Airport Expansion is also projected to bring more than 100,000 jobs to the Philadelphia region over the next several decades. The Airport Expansion project will be financed, in part by municipal bonds, state and federal funds as well as Airport Fees.  US Airways, which operates 70% of Philadelphia’s air traffic, filed a complaint with the Securities Exchange Commission expressing concern about the project threatening to delay the entire plan. However, this week the Philadelphia Inquirer reports Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and US Airways have reached an agreement. POWER! is cautiously optimistic and wants to work with the city and Airlines to ensure the just implementation of the expansion project is for the good of all Philadelphians. “There are young people sitting in Philadelphia classrooms and adults sitting in GED programs whose future will be determined by our ability to establish this kind of agreement,” says Rev. Cean James of Grace Christian Fellowship in Southwest Philadelphia. “The expansion of PHL provides a unique opportunity for city government to provide leadership to ensure that struggling people from all over the city are able to take advantage of this once in a life time economic development project.”

In addition to the noon prayer rally on March 29th, the leaders of POWER! will gather at Arch St. United Methodist Church, located at Broad & Arch Streets, at 9:00am that day, and walk over to City Hall to meet with City Council members to urge them to support a “local hiring preference” and a living wage standard for jobs as outlined in POWER!’s Jobs-Equality Agreement. The clergy leaders will then board the R1 train and head to the airport for the prayer rally.

The media is invited to attend all events. For more information about POWER! go to or call (215) 232-7697. All media inquiries should be directed to Leslie@TylerMadePRcom or call (609) 247-2632.

POWER!’s "Airport Jobs-Policy Agreement"
Economic Justice Platform –“Our Money, Our Jobs”
Ratified At POWER Leadership Assembly March 18, 2012

We call on the Mayor and City Council to adopt the following elements as requirements for all city-subsidized projects, especially at the airport.

•   Training programs to ensure that people in our neighborhoods have the skills required to do the permanent jobs that will become available.

•   A first source hiring program that gives “first crack” at the permanent jobs to people who have struggled recently with unemployment or who live in disadvantaged areas.

•   A living wage, health and retirement benefits, and the right to organize, where applicable, for the permanent jobs.  

•   Increased local and minority participation in apprenticeship programs to open doors into construction jobs for members of our neighborhoods.

•   A fully-funded compliance and monitoring system.
Once the City agrees to negotiate a Community Benefit Agreement or city ordinance towards these goals, POWER will work with coalition partners to establish a “negotiating committee” that is diverse and inclusive of our membership to resolve any outstanding issues.

About POWER!

POWER is comprised of 36 dues-paying member congregations which represent the racial, economic and faith diversity of our city.  Together, these congregations represent more than 25,000 people.   The purpose of POWER is to help congregations strengthen their voice for social justice in our city, in practical and local ways.  
Congregations that join POWER pay membership dues and have a seat on the Board of Directors.  As members, POWER congregations receive training and support from experienced community organizers who help them build Local Organizing Committees to address local issues of concern to their congregants and neighbors, as well as connect them to city-wide POWER campaigns to address larger issues. For more information go to:

List of Current POWER Member Congregations

Arch Street United Methodist Church (Center City)
Calvary/St. Augustine Episcopal Church (Mantua)
Calvary United Methodist Church (SWPhiladelphia)
Chestnut Hill United Church (Chestnut Hill)
Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir/Heart of the City (Center City)
Congregation Rodeph Shalom (North Philadelphia)
Cookman United Methodist Church (North Philadelphia)
Epiphany of Our Lord Catholic (South Philadelphia)
Evangel Chapel (North Philadelphia)
Grace Christian Fellowship (Southwest Philadelphia)
Harold O. Davis Baptist (Logan)
Holy Innocents Catholic Church (Juniata Park)
Holy Spirit Lutheran Church (Oxford Circle)
Kol Tzedek Synagogue (Southwest Philadelphia)
Living Water UCC (North Philadelphia)
Mother Bethel AME Church (Center City)
New Life Ministries (South Philadelphia)
Old First Reformed United Church of Christ (Center City)
Prince of Peace Lutheran (Lawncrest/Northeast)
Second Baptist Church of Germantown (Germantown)
Philadelphia Praise Center (South Philadelphia)
St. Benedict’s Catholic Church (East Germantown)
St. Malachy’s Catholic Church (North Philadelphia)
St. Martin‐in‐the‐Fields Episcopal Church (Chestnut Hill)
St. Raymond of Penafort Catholic Church (Cedarbrook)
St. Rita of Cascia Catholic Church (South Philadelphia)
St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church (West Philadelphia)
St. Therese Catholic Church (East Mt. Airy)
St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church (Germantown)
St. William Catholic Church (Lawncrest/Northeast)
St. Paul Baptist Church (North Philadelphia)  
Sweet Union Baptist Church (West Philadelphia)
West Philadelphia Mennonite Fellowship
Woodcrest United Church of Christ (Cedarbrook)

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Source:Leslie Patterson-Tyler -
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Tags:Power, Philadelphia Airport Expansion, Jobs, Unemployment, Poverty, Religion, Philadelphia, Us Airways, City Council
Industry:Construction, Transportation, Religion
Location:Philadelphia - Pennsylvania - United States
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