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News and Announcements

Monday, July 20, 2020

Updated July 20, 2020 at 12:00 PM.

We are currently accepting applications for our training programs and Adult Basic Education and English as a Second Language Classes.  

New Students: Interested education and training applicants who want to apply for upcoming programs should please complete an interest form. We will be reinstating our assessment schedule and TEAS testing when we re-open the agency. Interest forms are available at

Existing Students: Many classes and programs are being continued online or as limited face-to-face classes. Please remain in touch with your program coordinator about your particular schedule.

Please review the new Student Protocol which you will be required to follow while attending in-person programming at the Training Fund. You will be required to complete a short questionnaire, and program coordinators will conduct virtual orientations via Zoom.

To ensure your safety and ours, we also encourage all students, applicants, partners and others to read the City of Philadelphia's Safer at Home guides, available at

Please review the new Student Protocol which you will be required to follow while attending in-person programming at the Training Fund. You will be required to complete a short questionnaire, and program coordinators will conduct virtual orientations via Zoom.

          • District 1199C union members ONLY
          • ALL OTHER community members:

Training Fund staff will continue checking their voicemail and email throughout this emergency. You can find contact information for all staff here:

Dear Training Fund Students, Friends & Members of the 1199C Community,

The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has impacted communities all over the world, the United States, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. We hope that during this time all of your loved ones remain safe and well, and we extend our profound gratitude to the 1199C union members and other health workers putting their lives on the line to care for and heal our friends and neighbors.

The Training Fund program coordinators and instructors have worked hard to convert classes to an online format where possible and made alternate plans where online options were not possible. We are also providing services to union members as staff work remotely from home. Classes will also be extended as necessary to make up course work and clinical experiences to ensure students have all of the necessary knowledge and skills to qualify for program completion and preparation for credentialing examinations.

Moving forward, our challenge will be to continue to deliver high quality programs while maintaining safety as our highest priority for students, staff and visitors. To accomplish this, we will use a combination of traditional and distance learning approaches using online technologies to maintain social distancing guidelines. This will involve some retooling of staff, instructors and students to adapt to the new environment. The agency’s goal is to ensure students can engage fully in their education in a healthy and safe environment.

As always, students with questions should reach out to their program coordinators and/or instructors. Program coordinators can be reached by email as follows:

Addictions and Behavioral Health
Penn State Addictions Counselor
Jefferson (Philadelphia University) Health and Human Services AA Degree
Stephen Ridley –

College and Career Readiness/High School Equivalency/Pre-Nursing 
Michael Westover –

Computer Classes for Retirees
Jim Keller –

Culinary Training
Stephanie Webb –
Erika Shearlds-Hill –
Nathaniel Dixon – 

Direct Support Professional Pre-Apprenticeship
Mark Karcz –

Early Childhood Education
CCP Early Childhood Development AA Degree 
Child Development Associate for Child Care Staff
Family Child Care
Teresa Collins –

English for Speakers of Other Languages
Arlyn Freed –

Emergency Medical Technician
Stephanie Webb –
Erika Shearlds-Hill –
Nathaniel Dixon – 

GED and Beyond
Roland Williams –
Yattah Jones –

Home Health Aide/ESOL and IELCE
Carol Bloom –

Nurse Aide for Youth
Kristine Scanlon –
Sherette Campbell –

Opioid Crisis Training and Certified Recovery Specialist
Kehinde  Whetstone – 

Pharmacy Technician
Jim Keller – 

Practical Nursing
Karen Poles –
Shona Murphy –

Roxborough High School "STEAM Scholars"
Brittany Grabois – 

Vaux High School "STEAM Scholars"
Ellisiah Hall – 

Vocational Skills Training
Behavioral Health Technician
Child Development Associate
Nurse Aide
Dawn Johnson –
Renee Orgill –
Jewel Crafton –

Please be safe and practice good personal hygiene by washing or sanitizing hands, avoid large gatherings and confined spaces, and avoid social interaction altogether if you are sick. For a full list of recommendations for avoiding COVID-19 exposure, please visit The City of Philadelphia’s COVID-19 resource page,

To find free meals and safe spaces for students while schools are closed, you can go to 

Thanks very much for your understanding and patience during this challenging time.  We appreciate your support and send well wishes for your health and safety.

Sincerely yours,

Cheryl Feldman, Executive Director (
District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund


Anyone concerned about COVID-19 should visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health's website for the latest news and advice from our state's scientific authorities:

Healthcare and human services workers: PhilaPOSH, the Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety & Health, has information and resources to help you stay safe and protect your OSHA rights at work, available at

Friday, July 3, 2020

What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?

Frederick Douglass (July 5th, 1852)

Mr. President, Friends and Fellow Citizens:

He who could address this audience without a quailing sensation, has stronger nerves than I have. I do not remember ever to have appeared as a speaker before any assembly more shrinkingly, nor with greater distrust of my ability, than I do this day. A feeling has crept over me, quite unfavorable to the exercise of my limited powers of speech. The task before me is one which requires much previous thought and study for its proper performance. I know that apologies of this sort are generally considered flat and unmeaning. I trust, however, that mine will not be so considered. Should I seem at ease, my appearance would much misrepresent me. The little experience I have had in addressing public meetings, in country schoolhouses, avails me nothing on the present occasion.

The papers and placards say, that I am to deliver a 4th [of] July oration. This certainly sounds large, and out of the common way, for it is true that I have often had the privilege to speak in this beautiful Hall, and to address many who now honor me with their presence. But neither their familiar faces, nor the perfect gage I think I have of Corinthian Hall, seems to free me from embarrassment.

The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, the distance between this platform and the slave plantation, from which I escaped, is considerable — and the difficulties to be overcome in getting from the latter to the former, are by no means slight. That I am here to-day is, to me, a matter of astonishment as well as of gratitude. You will not, therefore, be surprised, if in what I have to say I evince no elaborate preparation, nor grace my speech with any high sounding exordium. With little experience and with less learning, I have been able to throw my thoughts hastily and imperfectly together; and trusting to your patient and generous indulgence, I will proceed to lay them before you.

This, for the purpose of this celebration, is the 4th of July. It is the birthday of your National Independence, and of your political freedom. This, to you, is what the Passover was to the emancipated people of God. It carries your minds back to the day, and to the act of your great deliverance; and to the signs, and to the wonders, associated with that act, and that day. This celebration also marks the beginning of another year of your national life; and reminds you that the Republic of America is now 76 years old. I am glad, fellow-citizens, that your nation is so young. Seventy-six years, though a good old age for a man, is but a mere speck in the life of a nation. Three score years and ten is the allotted time for individual men; but nations number their years by thousands. According to this fact, you are, even now, only in the beginning of your national career, still lingering in the period of childhood. I repeat, I am glad this is so. There is hope in the thought, and hope is much needed, under the dark clouds which lower above the horizon. The eye of the reformer is met with angry flashes, portending disastrous times; but his heart may well beat lighter at the thought that America is young, and that she is still in the impressible stage of her existence. May he not hope that high lessons of wisdom, of justice and of truth, will yet give direction to her destiny? Were the nation older, the patriot’s heart might be sadder, and the reformer’s brow heavier. Its future might be shrouded in gloom, and the hope of its prophets go out in sorrow. There is consolation in the thought that America is young. Great streams are not easily turned from channels, worn deep in the course of ages. They may sometimes rise in quiet and stately majesty, and inundate the land, refreshing and fertilizing the earth with their mysterious properties. They may also rise in wrath and fury, and bear away, on their angry waves, the accumulated wealth of years of toil and hardship. They, however, gradually flow back to the same old channel, and flow on as serenely as ever. But, while the river may not be turned aside, it may dry up, and leave nothing behind but the withered branch, and the unsightly rock, to howl in the abyss-sweeping wind, the sad tale of departed glory. As with rivers so with nations.

Fellow-citizens, I shall not presume to dwell at length on the associations that cluster about this day. The simple story of it is that, 76 years ago, the people of this country were British subjects. The style and title of your “sovereign people” (in which you now glory) was not then born. You were under the British Crown. Your fathers esteemed the English Government as the home government; and England as the fatherland. This home government, you know, although a considerable distance from your home, did, in the exercise of its parental prerogatives, impose upon its colonial children, such restraints, burdens and limitations, as, in its mature judgment, it deemed wise, right and proper.

But, your fathers, who had not adopted the fashionable idea of this day, of the infallibility of government, and the absolute character of its acts, presumed to differ from the home government in respect to the wisdom and the justice of some of those burdens and restraints. They went so far in their excitement as to pronounce the measures of government unjust, unreasonable, and oppressive, and altogether such as ought not to be quietly submitted to. I scarcely need say, fellow-citizens, that my opinion of those measures fully accords with that of your fathers. Such a declaration of agreement on my part would not be worth much to anybody. It would, certainly, prove nothing, as to what part I might have taken, had I lived during the great controversy of 1776. To say now that America was right, and England wrong, is exceedingly easy. Everybody can say it; the dastard, not less than the noble brave, can flippantly discant on the tyranny of England towards the American Colonies. It is fashionable to do so; but there was a time when to pronounce against England, and in favor of the cause of the colonies, tried men’s souls. They who did so were accounted in their day, plotters of mischief, agitators and rebels, dangerous men. To side with the right, against the wrong, with the weak against the strong, and with the oppressed against the oppressor! here lies the merit, and the one which, of all others, seems unfashionable in our day. The cause of liberty may be stabbed by the men who glory in the deeds of your fathers. But, to proceed.

Feeling themselves harshly and unjustly treated by the home government, your fathers, like men of honesty, and men of spirit, earnestly sought redress. They petitioned and remonstrated; they did so in a decorous, respectful, and loyal manner. Their conduct was wholly unexceptionable. This, however, did not answer the purpose. They saw themselves treated with sovereign indifference, coldness and scorn. Yet they persevered. They were not the men to look back.

As the sheet anchor takes a firmer hold, when the ship is tossed by the storm, so did the cause of your fathers grow stronger, as it breasted the chilling blasts of kingly displeasure. The greatest and best of British statesmen admitted its justice, and the loftiest eloquence of the British Senate came to its support. But, with that blindness which seems to be the unvarying characteristic of tyrants, since Pharaoh and his hosts were drowned in the Red Sea, the British Government persisted in the exactions complained of.

The madness of this course, we believe, is admitted now, even by England; but we fear the lesson is wholly lost on our present ruler.

Oppression makes a wise man mad. Your fathers were wise men, and if they did not go mad, they became restive under this treatment. They felt themselves the victims of grievous wrongs, wholly incurable in their colonial capacity. With brave men there is always a remedy for oppression. Just here, the idea of a total separation of the colonies from the crown was born! It was a startling idea, much more so, than we, at this distance of time, regard it. The timid and the prudent (as has been intimated) of that day, were, of course, shocked and alarmed by it.

Such people lived then, had lived before, and will, probably, ever have a place on this planet; and their course, in respect to any great change, (no matter how great the good to be attained, or the wrong to be redressed by it), may be calculated with as much precision as can be the course of the stars. They hate all changes, but silver, gold and copper change! Of this sort of change they are always strongly in favor.

These people were called Tories in the days of your fathers; and the appellation, probably, conveyed the same idea that is meant by a more modern, though a somewhat less euphonious term, which we often find in our papers, applied to some of our old politicians.

Their opposition to the then dangerous thought was earnest and powerful; but, amid all their terror and affrighted vociferations against it, the alarming and revolutionary idea moved on, and the country with it.

On the 2d of July, 1776, the old Continental Congress, to the dismay of the lovers of ease, and the worshipers of property, clothed that dreadful idea with all the authority of national sanction. They did so in the form of a resolution; and as we seldom hit upon resolutions, drawn up in our day whose transparency is at all equal to this, it may refresh your minds and help my story if I read it. “Resolved, That these united colonies are, and of right, ought to be free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown; and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, dissolved.”

Citizens, your fathers made good that resolution. They succeeded; and to-day you reap the fruits of their success. The freedom gained is yours; and you, therefore, may properly celebrate this anniversary. The 4th of July is the first great fact in your nation’s history — the very ring-bolt in the chain of your yet undeveloped destiny.

Pride and patriotism, not less than gratitude, prompt you to celebrate and to hold it in perpetual remembrance. I have said that the Declaration of Independence is the ring-bolt to the chain of your nation’s destiny; so, indeed, I regard it. The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost.

From the round top of your ship of state, dark and threatening clouds may be seen. Heavy billows, like mountains in the distance, disclose to the leeward huge forms of flinty rocks! That bolt drawn, that chain broken, and all is lost. Cling to this day — cling to it, and to its principles, with the grasp of a storm-tossed mariner to a spar at midnight.

The coming into being of a nation, in any circumstances, is an interesting event. But, besides general considerations, there were peculiar circumstances which make the advent of this republic an event of special attractiveness.

The whole scene, as I look back to it, was simple, dignified and sublime.

The population of the country, at the time, stood at the insignificant number of three millions. The country was poor in the munitions of war. The population was weak and scattered, and the country a wilderness unsubdued. There were then no means of concert and combination, such as exist now. Neither steam nor lightning had then been reduced to order and discipline. From the Potomac to the Delaware was a journey of many days. Under these, and innumerable other disadvantages, your fathers declared for liberty and independence and triumphed.

Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men too — great enough to give fame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men. The point from which I am compelled to view them is not, certainly, the most favorable; and yet I cannot contemplate their great deeds with less than admiration. They were statesmen, patriots and heroes, and for the good they did, and the principles they contended for, I will unite with you to honor their memory.

They loved their country better than their own private interests; and, though this is not the highest form of human excellence, all will concede that it is a rare virtue, and that when it is exhibited, it ought to command respect. He who will, intelligently, lay down his life for his country, is a man whom it is not in human nature to despise. Your fathers staked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, on the cause of their country. In their admiration of liberty, they lost sight of all other interests.

They were peace men; but they preferred revolution to peaceful submission to bondage. They were quiet men; but they did not shrink from agitating against oppression. They showed forbearance; but that they knew its limits. They believed in order; but not in the order of tyranny. With them, nothing was “settled” that was not right. With them, justice, liberty and humanity were “final;” not slavery and oppression. You may well cherish the memory of such men. They were great in their day and generation. Their solid manhood stands out the more as we contrast it with these degenerate times.

How circumspect, exact and proportionate were all their movements! How unlike the politicians of an hour! Their statesmanship looked beyond the passing moment, and stretched away in strength into the distant future. They seized upon eternal principles, and set a glorious example in their defense. Mark them!

Fully appreciating the hardship to be encountered, firmly believing in the right of their cause, honorably inviting the scrutiny of an on-looking world, reverently appealing to heaven to attest their sincerity, soundly comprehending the solemn responsibility they were about to assume, wisely measuring the terrible odds against them, your fathers, the fathers of this republic, did, most deliberately, under the inspiration of a glorious patriotism, and with a sublime faith in the great principles of justice and freedom, lay deep the corner-stone of the national superstructure, which has risen and still rises in grandeur around you.

Of this fundamental work, this day is the anniversary. Our eyes are met with demonstrations of joyous enthusiasm. Banners and pennants wave exultingly on the breeze. The din of business, too, is hushed. Even Mammon seems to have quitted his grasp on this day. The ear-piercing fife and the stirring drum unite their accents with the ascending peal of a thousand church bells. Prayers are made, hymns are sung, and sermons are preached in honor of this day; while the quick martial tramp of a great and multitudinous nation, echoed back by all the hills, valleys and mountains of a vast continent, bespeak the occasion one of thrilling and universal interest — a nation’s jubilee.

Friends and citizens, I need not enter further into the causes which led to this anniversary. Many of you understand them better than I do. You could instruct me in regard to them. That is a branch of knowledge in which you feel, perhaps, a much deeper interest than your speaker. The causes which led to the separation of the colonies from the British crown have never lacked for a tongue. They have all been taught in your common schools, narrated at your firesides, unfolded from your pulpits, and thundered from your legislative halls, and are as familiar to you as household words. They form the staple of your national poetry and eloquence.

I remember, also, that, as a people, Americans are remarkably familiar with all facts which make in their own favor. This is esteemed by some as a national trait — perhaps a national weakness. It is a fact, that whatever makes for the wealth or for the reputation of Americans, and can be had cheap! will be found by Americans. I shall not be charged with slandering Americans, if I say I think the American side of any question may be safely left in American hands.

I leave, therefore, the great deeds of your fathers to other gentlemen whose claim to have been regularly descended will be less likely to be disputed than mine!

My business, if I have any here to-day, is with the present. The accepted time with God and his cause is the ever-living now.

Trust no future, however pleasant,
Let the dead past bury its dead;
Act, act in the living present,
Heart within, and God overhead.

We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and to the future. To all inspiring motives, to noble deeds which can be gained from the past, we are welcome. But now is the time, the important time. Your fathers have lived, died, and have done their work, and have done much of it well. You live and must die, and you must do your work. You have no right to enjoy a child’s share in the labor of your fathers, unless your children are to be blest by your labors. You have no right to wear out and waste the hard-earned fame of your fathers to cover your indolence. Sydney Smith tells us that men seldom eulogize the wisdom and virtues of their fathers, but to excuse some folly or wickedness of their own. This truth is not a doubtful one. There are illustrations of it near and remote, ancient and modern. It was fashionable, hundreds of years ago, for the children of Jacob to boast, we have “Abraham to our father,” when they had long lost Abraham’s faith and spirit. That people contented themselves under the shadow of Abraham’s great name, while they repudiated the deeds which made his name great. Need I remind you that a similar thing is being done all over this country to-day? Need I tell you that the Jews are not the only people who built the tombs of the prophets, and garnished the sepulchres of the righteous? Washington could not die till he had broken the chains of his slaves. Yet his monument is built up by the price of human blood, and the traders in the bodies and souls of men shout — “We have Washington to our father.” — Alas! that it should be so; yet so it is.

The evil that men do, lives after them, The good is oft-interred with their bones.

Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? and am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?

Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions! Then would my task be light, and my burden easy and delightful. For who is there so cold, that a nation’s sympathy could not warm him? Who so obdurate and dead to the claims of gratitude, that would not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits? Who so stolid and selfish, that would not give his voice to swell the hallelujahs of a nation’s jubilee, when the chains of servitude had been torn from his limbs? I am not that man. In a case like that, the dumb might eloquently speak, and the “lame man leap as an hart.”

But, such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. — The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation whose crimes, lowering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrecoverable ruin! I can to-day take up the plaintive lament of a peeled and woe-smitten people!

“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down. Yea! we wept when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there, they that carried us away captive, required of us a song; and they who wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.”

Fellow-citizens; above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, to-day, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not faithfully remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, “may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!” To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs, and to chime in with the popular theme, would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world. My subject, then fellow-citizens, is AMERICAN SLAVERY. I shall see, this day, and its popular characteristics, from the slave’s point of view. Standing, there, identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine, I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this 4th of July! Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity which is outraged, in the name of liberty which is fettered, in the name of the constitution and the Bible, which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery — the great sin and shame of America! “I will not equivocate; I will not excuse;” I will use the severest language I can command; and yet not one word shall escape me that any man, whose judgment is not blinded by prejudice, or who is not at heart a slaveholder, shall not confess to be right and just.

But I fancy I hear some one of my audience say, it is just in this circumstance that you and your brother abolitionists fail to make a favorable impression on the public mind. Would you argue more, and denounce less, would you persuade more, and rebuke less, your cause would be much more likely to succeed. But, I submit, where all is plain there is nothing to be argued. What point in the anti-slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch of the subject do the people of this country need light? Must I undertake to prove that the slave is a man? That point is conceded already. Nobody doubts it. The slaveholders themselves acknowledge it in the enactment of laws for their government. They acknowledge it when they punish disobedience on the part of the slave. There are seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia, which, if committed by a black man, (no matter how ignorant he be), subject him to the punishment of death; while only two of the same crimes will subject a white man to the like punishment. What is this but the acknowledgement that the slave is a moral, intellectual and responsible being? The manhood of the slave is conceded. It is admitted in the fact that Southern statute books are covered with enactments forbidding, under severe fines and penalties, the teaching of the slave to read or to write. When you can point to any such laws, in reference to the beasts of the field, then I may consent to argue the manhood of the slave. When the dogs in your streets, when the fowls of the air, when the cattle on your hills, when the fish of the sea, and the reptiles that crawl, shall be unable to distinguish the slave from a brute, then will I argue with you that the slave is a man!

For the present, it is enough to affirm the equal manhood of the Negro race. Is it not astonishing that, while we are ploughing, planting and reaping, using all kinds of mechanical tools, erecting houses, constructing bridges, building ships, working in metals of brass, iron, copper, silver and gold; that, while we are reading, writing and cyphering, acting as clerks, merchants and secretaries, having among us lawyers, doctors, ministers, poets, authors, editors, orators and teachers; that, while we are engaged in all manner of enterprises common to other men, digging gold in California, capturing the whale in the Pacific, feeding sheep and cattle on the hill-side, living, moving, acting, thinking, planning, living in families as husbands, wives and children, and, above all, confessing and worshipping the Christian’s God, and looking hopefully for life and immortality beyond the grave, we are called upon to prove that we are men!

Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? that he is the rightful owner of his own body? You have already declared it. Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a question for Republicans? Is it to be settled by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard to be understood? How should I look to-day, in the presence of Americans, dividing, and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to freedom? speaking of it relatively, and positively, negatively, and affirmatively. To do so, would be to make myself ridiculous, and to offer an insult to your understanding. — There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven, that does not know that slavery is wrong for him.

What, am I to argue that it is wrong to make men brutes, to rob them of their liberty, to work them without wages, to keep them ignorant of their relations to their fellow men, to beat them with sticks, to flay their flesh with the lash, to load their limbs with irons, to hunt them with dogs, to sell them at auction, to sunder their families, to knock out their teeth, to burn their flesh, to starve them into obedience and submission to their masters? Must I argue that a system thus marked with blood, and stained with pollution, is wrong? No! I will not. I have better employments for my time and strength than such arguments would imply.

What, then, remains to be argued? Is it that slavery is not divine; that God did not establish it; that our doctors of divinity are mistaken? There is blasphemy in the thought. That which is inhuman, cannot be divine! Who can reason on such a proposition? They that can, may; I cannot. The time for such argument is passed.

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could I reach the nation’s ear, I would, to-day, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour.

Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the old world, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.

Take the American slave-trade, which, we are told by the papers, is especially prosperous just now. Ex-Senator Benton tells us that the price of men was never higher than now. He mentions the fact to show that slavery is in no danger. This trade is one of the peculiarities of American institutions. It is carried on in all the large towns and cities in one-half of this confederacy; and millions are pocketed every year, by dealers in this horrid traffic. In several states, this trade is a chief source of wealth. It is called (in contradistinction to the foreign slave-trade) “the internal slave trade.” It is, probably, called so, too, in order to divert from it the horror with which the foreign slave-trade is contemplated. That trade has long since been denounced by this government, as piracy. It has been denounced with burning words, from the high places of the nation, as an execrable traffic. To arrest it, to put an end to it, this nation keeps a squadron, at immense cost, on the coast of Africa. Everywhere, in this country, it is safe to speak of this foreign slave-trade, as a most inhuman traffic, opposed alike to the laws of God and of man. The duty to extirpate and destroy it, is admitted even by our DOCTORS OF DIVINITY. In order to put an end to it, some of these last have consented that their colored brethren (nominally free) should leave this country, and establish themselves on the western coast of Africa! It is, however, a notable fact that, while so much execration is poured out by Americans upon those engaged in the foreign slave-trade, the men engaged in the slave-trade between the states pass without condemnation, and their business is deemed honorable.

Behold the practical operation of this internal slave-trade, the American slave-trade, sustained by American politics and America religion. Here you will see men and women reared like swine for the market. You know what is a swine-drover? I will show you a man-drover. They inhabit all our Southern States. They perambulate the country, and crowd the highways of the nation, with droves of human stock. You will see one of these human flesh-jobbers, armed with pistol, whip and bowie-knife, driving a company of a hundred men, women, and children, from the Potomac to the slave market at New Orleans. These wretched people are to be sold singly, or in lots, to suit purchasers. They are food for the cotton-field, and the deadly sugar-mill. Mark the sad procession, as it moves wearily along, and the inhuman wretch who drives them. Hear his savage yells and his blood-chilling oaths, as he hurries on his affrighted captives! There, see the old man, with locks thinned and gray. Cast one glance, if you please, upon that young mother, whose shoulders are bare to the scorching sun, her briny tears falling on the brow of the babe in her arms. See, too, that girl of thirteen, weeping, yes! weeping, as she thinks of the mother from whom she has been torn! The drove moves tardily. Heat and sorrow have nearly consumed their strength; suddenly you hear a quick snap, like the discharge of a rifle; the fetters clank, and the chain rattles simultaneously; your ears are saluted with a scream, that seems to have torn its way to the center of your soul! The crack you heard, was the sound of the slave-whip; the scream you heard, was from the woman you saw with the babe. Her speed had faltered under the weight of her child and her chains! that gash on her shoulder tells her to move on. Follow the drove to New Orleans. Attend the auction; see men examined like horses; see the forms of women rudely and brutally exposed to the shocking gaze of American slave-buyers. See this drove sold and separated forever; and never forget the deep, sad sobs that arose from that scattered multitude. Tell me citizens, WHERE, under the sun, you can witness a spectacle more fiendish and shocking. Yet this is but a glance at the American slave-trade, as it exists, at this moment, in the ruling part of the United States.

I was born amid such sights and scenes. To me the American slave-trade is a terrible reality. When a child, my soul was often pierced with a sense of its horrors. I lived on Philpot Street, Fell’s Point, Baltimore, and have watched from the wharves, the slave ships in the Basin, anchored from the shore, with their cargoes of human flesh, waiting for favorable winds to waft them down the Chesapeake. There was, at that time, a grand slave mart kept at the head of Pratt Street, by Austin Woldfolk. His agents were sent into every town and county in Maryland, announcing their arrival, through the papers, and on flaming “hand-bills,” headed CASH FOR NEGROES. These men were generally well dressed men, and very captivating in their manners. Ever ready to drink, to treat, and to gamble. The fate of many a slave has depended upon the turn of a single card; and many a child has been snatched from the arms of its mother by bargains arranged in a state of brutal drunkenness.

The flesh-mongers gather up their victims by dozens, and drive them, chained, to the general depot at Baltimore. When a sufficient number have been collected here, a ship is chartered, for the purpose of conveying the forlorn crew to Mobile, or to New Orleans. From the slave prison to the ship, they are usually driven in the darkness of night; for since the antislavery agitation, a certain caution is observed.

In the deep still darkness of midnight, I have been often aroused by the dead heavy footsteps, and the piteous cries of the chained gangs that passed our door. The anguish of my boyish heart was intense; and I was often consoled, when speaking to my mistress in the morning, to hear her say that the custom was very wicked; that she hated to hear the rattle of the chains, and the heart-rending cries. I was glad to find one who sympathized with me in my horror.

Fellow-citizens, this murderous traffic is, to-day, in active operation in this boasted republic. In the solitude of my spirit, I see clouds of dust raised on the highways of the South; I see the bleeding footsteps; I hear the doleful wail of fettered humanity, on the way to the slave-markets, where the victims are to be sold like horses, sheep, and swine, knocked off to the highest bidder. There I see the tenderest ties ruthlessly broken, to gratify the lust, caprice and rapacity of the buyers and sellers of men. My soul sickens at the sight.

Is this the land your Fathers loved,
The freedom which they toiled to win?
Is this the earth whereon they moved?
Are these the graves they slumber in?

But a still more inhuman, disgraceful, and scandalous state of things remains to be presented. By an act of the American Congress, not yet two years old, slavery has been nationalized in its most horrible and revolting form. By that act, Mason and Dixon’s line has been obliterated; New York has become as Virginia; and the power to hold, hunt, and sell men, women, and children as slaves remains no longer a mere state institution, but is now an institution of the whole United States. The power is co-extensive with the Star-Spangled Banner and American Christianity. Where these go, may also go the merciless slave-hunter. Where these are, man is not sacred. He is a bird for the sportsman’s gun. By that most foul and fiendish of all human decrees, the liberty and person of every man are put in peril. Your broad republican domain is hunting ground for men. Not for thieves and robbers, enemies of society, merely, but for men guilty of no crime. Your lawmakers have commanded all good citizens to engage in this hellish sport. Your President, your Secretary of State, our lords, nobles, and ecclesiastics, enforce, as a duty you owe to your free and glorious country, and to your God, that you do this accursed thing. Not fewer than forty Americans have, within the past two years, been hunted down and, without a moment’s warning, hurried away in chains, and consigned to slavery and excruciating torture. Some of these have had wives and children, dependent on them for bread; but of this, no account was made. The right of the hunter to his prey stands superior to the right of marriage, and to all rights in this republic, the rights of God included! For black men there are neither law, justice, humanity, not religion. The Fugitive Slave Law makes mercy to them a crime; and bribes the judge who tries them. An American judge gets ten dollars for every victim he consigns to slavery, and five, when he fails to do so. The oath of any two villains is sufficient, under this hell-black enactment, to send the most pious and exemplary black man into the remorseless jaws of slavery! His own testimony is nothing. He can bring no witnesses for himself. The minister of American justice is bound by the law to hear but one side; and that side, is the side of the oppressor. Let this damning fact be perpetually told. Let it be thundered around the world, that, in tyrant-killing, king-hating, people-loving, democratic, Christian America, the seats of justice are filled with judges, who hold their offices under an open and palpable bribe, and are bound, in deciding in the case of a man’s liberty, hear only his accusers!

In glaring violation of justice, in shameless disregard of the forms of administering law, in cunning arrangement to entrap the defenseless, and in diabolical intent, this Fugitive Slave Law stands alone in the annals of tyrannical legislation. I doubt if there be another nation on the globe, having the brass and the baseness to put such a law on the statute-book. If any man in this assembly thinks differently from me in this matter, and feels able to disprove my statements, I will gladly confront him at any suitable time and place he may select.

I take this law to be one of the grossest infringements of Christian Liberty, and, if the churches and ministers of our country were not stupidly blind, or most wickedly indifferent, they, too, would so regard it.

At the very moment that they are thanking God for the enjoyment of civil and religious liberty, and for the right to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences, they are utterly silent in respect to a law which robs religion of its chief significance, and makes it utterly worthless to a world lying in wickedness. Did this law concern the “mint, anise, and cumin” — abridge the right to sing psalms, to partake of the sacrament, or to engage in any of the ceremonies of religion, it would be smitten by the thunder of a thousand pulpits. A general shout would go up from the church, demanding repeal, repeal, instant repeal! — And it would go hard with that politician who presumed to solicit the votes of the people without inscribing this motto on his banner. Further, if this demand were not complied with, another Scotland would be added to the history of religious liberty, and the stern old Covenanters would be thrown into the shade. A John Knox would be seen at every church door, and heard from every pulpit, and Fillmore would have no more quarter than was shown by Knox, to the beautiful, but treacherous queen Mary of Scotland. The fact that the church of our country, (with fractional exceptions), does not esteem “the Fugitive Slave Law” as a declaration of war against religious liberty, implies that that church regards religion simply as a form of worship, an empty ceremony, and not a vital principle, requiring active benevolence, justice, love and good will towards man. It esteems sacrifice above mercy; psalm-singing above right doing; solemn meetings above practical righteousness. A worship that can be conducted by persons who refuse to give shelter to the houseless, to give bread to the hungry, clothing to the naked, and who enjoin obedience to a law forbidding these acts of mercy, is a curse, not a blessing to mankind. The Bible addresses all such persons as “scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites, who pay tithe of mint, anise, and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith.”

But the church of this country is not only indifferent to the wrongs of the slave, it actually takes sides with the oppressors. It has made itself the bulwark of American slavery, and the shield of American slave-hunters. Many of its most eloquent Divines. who stand as the very lights of the church, have shamelessly given the sanction of religion and the Bible to the whole slave system. They have taught that man may, properly, be a slave; that the relation of master and slave is ordained of God; that to send back an escaped bondman to his master is clearly the duty of all the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ; and this horrible blasphemy is palmed off upon the world for Christianity.

For my part, I would say, welcome infidelity! welcome atheism! welcome anything! in preference to the gospel, as preached by those Divines! They convert the very name of religion into an engine of tyranny, and barbarous cruelty, and serve to confirm more infidels, in this age, than all the infidel writings of Thomas Paine, Voltaire, and Bolingbroke, put together, have done! These ministers make religion a cold and flinty-hearted thing, having neither principles of right action, nor bowels of compassion. They strip the love of God of its beauty, and leave the throng of religion a huge, horrible, repulsive form. It is a religion for oppressors, tyrants, man-stealers, and thugs. It is not that “pure and undefiled religion” which is from above, and which is “first pure, then peaceable, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” But a religion which favors the rich against the poor; which exalts the proud above the humble; which divides mankind into two classes, tyrants and slaves; which says to the man in chains, stay there; and to the oppressor, oppress on; it is a religion which may be professed and enjoyed by all the robbers and enslavers of mankind; it makes God a respecter of persons, denies his fatherhood of the race, and tramples in the dust the great truth of the brotherhood of man. All this we affirm to be true of the popular church, and the popular worship of our land and nation — a religion, a church, and a worship which, on the authority of inspired wisdom, we pronounce to be an abomination in the sight of God. In the language of Isaiah, the American church might be well addressed, “Bring no more vain ablations; incense is an abomination unto me: the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth. They are a trouble to me; I am weary to bear them; and when ye spread forth your hands I will hide mine eyes from you. Yea! when ye make many prayers, I will not hear. YOUR HANDS ARE FULL OF BLOOD; cease to do evil, learn to do well; seek judgment; relieve the oppressed; judge for the fatherless; plead for the widow.”

The American church is guilty, when viewed in connection with what it is doing to uphold slavery; but it is superlatively guilty when viewed in connection with its ability to abolish slavery. The sin of which it is guilty is one of omission as well as of commission. Albert Barnes but uttered what the common sense of every man at all observant of the actual state of the case will receive as truth, when he declared that “There is no power out of the church that could sustain slavery an hour, if it were not sustained in it.”

Let the religious press, the pulpit, the Sunday school, the conference meeting, the great ecclesiastical, missionary, Bible and tract associations of the land array their immense powers against slavery and slave-holding; and the whole system of crime and blood would be scattered to the winds; and that they do not do this involves them in the most awful responsibility of which the mind can conceive.

In prosecuting the anti-slavery enterprise, we have been asked to spare the church, to spare the ministry; but how, we ask, could such a thing be done? We are met on the threshold of our efforts for the redemption of the slave, by the church and ministry of the country, in battle arrayed against us; and we are compelled to fight or flee. From what quarter, I beg to know, has proceeded a fire so deadly upon our ranks, during the last two years, as from the Northern pulpit? As the champions of oppressors, the chosen men of American theology have appeared — men, honored for their so-called piety, and their real learning. The Lords of Buffalo, the Springs of New York, the Lathrops of Auburn, the Coxes and Spencers of Brooklyn, the Gannets and Sharps of Boston, the Deweys of Washington, and other great religious lights of the land have, in utter denial of the authority of Him by whom they professed to be called to the ministry, deliberately taught us, against the example or the Hebrews and against the remonstrance of the Apostles, they teach that we ought to obey man’s law before the law of God.

My spirit wearies of such blasphemy; and how such men can be supported, as the “standing types and representatives of Jesus Christ,” is a mystery which I leave others to penetrate. In speaking of the American church, however, let it be distinctly understood that I mean the great mass of the religious organizations of our land. There are exceptions, and I thank God that there are. Noble men may be found, scattered all over these Northern States, of whom Henry Ward Beecher of Brooklyn, Samuel J. May of Syracuse, and my esteemed friend (Rev. R. R. Raymond) on the platform, are shining examples; and let me say further, that upon these men lies the duty to inspire our ranks with high religious faith and zeal, and to cheer us on in the great mission of the slave’s redemption from his chains.

One is struck with the difference between the attitude of the American church towards the anti-slavery movement, and that occupied by the churches in England towards a similar movement in that country. There, the church, true to its mission of ameliorating, elevating, and improving the condition of mankind, came forward promptly, bound up the wounds of the West Indian slave, and restored him to his liberty. There, the question of emancipation was a high religious question. It was demanded, in the name of humanity, and according to the law of the living God. The Sharps, the Clarksons, the Wilberforces, the Buxtons, and Burchells and the Knibbs, were alike famous for their piety, and for their philanthropy. The anti-slavery movement there was not an anti-church movement, for the reason that the church took its full share in prosecuting that movement: and the anti-slavery movement in this country will cease to be an anti-church movement, when the church of this country shall assume a favorable, instead of a hostile position towards that movement. Americans! your republican politics, not less than your republican religion, are flagrantly inconsistent. You boast of your love of liberty, your superior civilization, and your pure Christianity, while the whole political power of the nation (as embodied in the two great political parties), is solemnly pledged to support and perpetuate the enslavement of three millions of your countrymen. You hurl your anathemas at the crowned headed tyrants of Russia and Austria, and pride yourselves on your Democratic institutions, while you yourselves consent to be the mere tools and body-guards of the tyrants of Virginia and Carolina. You invite to your shores fugitives of oppression from abroad, honor them with banquets, greet them with ovations, cheer them, toast them, salute them, protect them, and pour out your money to them like water; but the fugitives from your own land you advertise, hunt, arrest, shoot and kill. You glory in your refinement and your universal education yet you maintain a system as barbarous and dreadful as ever stained the character of a nation — a system begun in avarice, supported in pride, and perpetuated in cruelty. You shed tears over fallen Hungary, and make the sad story of her wrongs the theme of your poets, statesmen and orators, till your gallant sons are ready to fly to arms to vindicate her cause against her oppressors; but, in regard to the ten thousand wrongs of the American slave, you would enforce the strictest silence, and would hail him as an enemy of the nation who dares to make those wrongs the subject of public discourse! You are all on fire at the mention of liberty for France or for Ireland; but are as cold as an iceberg at the thought of liberty for the enslaved of America. You discourse eloquently on the dignity of labor; yet, you sustain a system which, in its very essence, casts a stigma upon labor. You can bare your bosom to the storm of British artillery to throw off a threepenny tax on tea; and yet wring the last hard-earned farthing from the grasp of the black laborers of your country. You profess to believe “that, of one blood, God made all nations of men to dwell on the face of all the earth,” and hath commanded all men, everywhere to love one another; yet you notoriously hate, (and glory in your hatred), all men whose skins are not colored like your own. You declare, before the world, and are understood by the world to declare, that you “hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal; and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; and that, among these are, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;” and yet, you hold securely, in a bondage which, according to your own Thomas Jefferson, “is worse than ages of that which your fathers rose in rebellion to oppose,” a seventh part of the inhabitants of your country.

Fellow-citizens! I will not enlarge further on your national inconsistencies. The existence of slavery in this country brands your republicanism as a sham, your humanity as a base pretence, and your Christianity as a lie. It destroys your moral power abroad; it corrupts your politicians at home. It saps the foundation of religion; it makes your name a hissing, and a bye-word to a mocking earth. It is the antagonistic force in your government, the only thing that seriously disturbs and endangers your Union. It fetters your progress; it is the enemy of improvement, the deadly foe of education; it fosters pride; it breeds insolence; it promotes vice; it shelters crime; it is a curse to the earth that supports it; and yet, you cling to it, as if it were the sheet anchor of all your hopes. Oh! be warned! be warned! a horrible reptile is coiled up in your nation’s bosom; the venomous creature is nursing at the tender breast of your youthful republic; for the love of God, tear away, and fling from you the hideous monster, and let the weight of twenty millions crush and destroy it forever!

But it is answered in reply to all this, that precisely what I have now denounced is, in fact, guaranteed and sanctioned by the Constitution of the United States; that the right to hold and to hunt slaves is a part of that Constitution framed by the illustrious Fathers of this Republic.

Then, I dare to affirm, notwithstanding all I have said before, your fathers stooped, basely stooped

To palter with us in a double sense:
And keep the word of promise to the ear,
But break it to the heart.

And instead of being the honest men I have before declared them to be, they were the veriest imposters that ever practiced on mankind. This is the inevitable conclusion, and from it there is no escape. But I differ from those who charge this baseness on the framers of the Constitution of the United States. It is a slander upon their memory, at least, so I believe. There is not time now to argue the constitutional question at length — nor have I the ability to discuss it as it ought to be discussed. The subject has been handled with masterly power by Lysander Spooner, Esq., by William Goodell, by Samuel E. Sewall, Esq., and last, though not least, by Gerritt Smith, Esq. These gentlemen have, as I think, fully and clearly vindicated the Constitution from any design to support slavery for an hour.

Fellow-citizens! there is no matter in respect to which, the people of the North have allowed themselves to be so ruinously imposed upon, as that of the pro-slavery character of the Constitution. In that instrument I hold there is neither warrant, license, nor sanction of the hateful thing; but, interpreted as it ought to be interpreted, the Constitution is a GLORIOUS LIBERTY DOCUMENT. Read its preamble, consider its purposes. Is slavery among them? Is it at the gateway? or is it in the temple? It is neither. While I do not intend to argue this question on the present occasion, let me ask, if it be not somewhat singular that, if the Constitution were intended to be, by its framers and adopters, a slave-holding instrument, why neither slavery, slaveholding, nor slave can anywhere be found in it. What would be thought of an instrument, drawn up, legally drawn up, for the purpose of entitling the city of Rochester to a track of land, in which no mention of land was made? Now, there are certain rules of interpretation, for the proper understanding of all legal instruments. These rules are well established. They are plain, common-sense rules, such as you and I, and all of us, can understand and apply, without having passed years in the study of law. I scout the idea that the question of the constitutionality or unconstitutionality of slavery is not a question for the people. I hold that every American citizen has a right to form an opinion of the constitution, and to propagate that opinion, and to use all honorable means to make his opinion the prevailing one. Without this right, the liberty of an American citizen would be as insecure as that of a Frenchman. Ex-Vice-President Dallas tells us that the Constitution is an object to which no American mind can be too attentive, and no American heart too devoted. He further says, the Constitution, in its words, is plain and intelligible, and is meant for the home-bred, unsophisticated understandings of our fellow-citizens. Senator Berrien tell us that the Constitution is the fundamental law, that which controls all others. The charter of our liberties, which every citizen has a personal interest in understanding thoroughly. The testimony of Senator Breese, Lewis Cass, and many others that might be named, who are everywhere esteemed as sound lawyers, so regard the constitution. I take it, therefore, that it is not presumption in a private citizen to form an opinion of that instrument.

Now, take the Constitution according to its plain reading, and I defy the presentation of a single pro-slavery clause in it. On the other hand it will be found to contain principles and purposes, entirely hostile to the existence of slavery.

I have detained my audience entirely too long already. At some future period I will gladly avail myself of an opportunity to give this subject a full and fair discussion.

Allow me to say, in conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this day presented of the state of the nation, I do not despair of this country. There are forces in operation, which must inevitably work the downfall of slavery. “The arm of the Lord is not shortened,” and the doom of slavery is certain. I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope. While drawing encouragement from the Declaration of Independence, the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age. Nations do not now stand in the same relation to each other that they did ages ago. No nation can now shut itself up from the surrounding world, and trot round in the same old path of its fathers without interference. The time was when such could be done. Long established customs of hurtful character could formerly fence themselves in, and do their evil work with social impunity. Knowledge was then confined and enjoyed by the privileged few, and the multitude walked on in mental darkness. But a change has now come over the affairs of mankind. Walled cities and empires have become unfashionable. The arm of commerce has borne away the gates of the strong city. Intelligence is penetrating the darkest corners of the globe. It makes its pathway over and under the sea, as well as on the earth. Wind, steam, and lightning are its chartered agents. Oceans no longer divide, but link nations together. From Boston to London is now a holiday excursion. Space is comparatively annihilated. Thoughts expressed on one side of the Atlantic, are distinctly heard on the other. The far off and almost fabulous Pacific rolls in grandeur at our feet. The Celestial Empire, the mystery of ages, is being solved. The fiat of the Almighty, “Let there be Light,” has not yet spent its force. No abuse, no outrage whether in taste, sport or avarice, can now hide itself from the all-pervading light. The iron shoe, and crippled foot of China must be seen, in contrast with nature. Africa must rise and put on her yet unwoven garment. “Ethiopia shall stretch out her hand unto God.” In the fervent aspirations of William Lloyd Garrison, I say, and let every heart join in saying it:

God speed the year of jubilee
The wide world o’er
When from their galling chains set free,
Th’ oppress’d shall vilely bend the knee,

And wear the yoke of tyranny
Like brutes no more.
That year will come, and freedom’s reign,
To man his plundered fights again

God speed the day when human blood
Shall cease to flow!
In every clime be understood,
The claims of human brotherhood,
And each return for evil, good,
Not blow for blow;
That day will come all feuds to end.
And change into a faithful friend
Each foe.

God speed the hour, the glorious hour,
When none on earth
Shall exercise a lordly power,
Nor in a tyrant’s presence cower;
But all to manhood’s stature tower,
By equal birth!
That hour will come, to each, to all,
And from his prison-house, the thrall
Go forth.

Until that year, day, hour, arrive,
With head, and heart, and hand I’ll strive,
To break the rod, and rend the gyve,
The spoiler of his prey deprive —
So witness Heaven!
And never from my chosen post,
Whate’er the peril or the cost,
Be driven.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Updated June 15, 2020 at 9:30 AM.

Please Note: This announcement previously, incorrectly identified the starting date and class times for the Direct Support Professional Registered Apprenticeship Program, coordinated by Mark Karcz. In-person classes are not currently scheduled to resume. Please continue attending classes online, and contact Mark for more information. We apologize for any confusion.

The Training Fund is resuming limited in-person classes on Monday, June 15, 2020. All other ongoing classes will continue remotely. The following classes will resume in-person:

 Program Schedule Coordinator Contact 
PWI VST Nurse Aide Mo thru Th, 9:00am-1:30pm Dawn Johnson (
Valry Leroy (
PWI VST Behavioral Health Tech (BHT) Tuesday 6/23 & Wednesday 6/24, 10:00am-2:00pm Dawn Johnson (
Valry Leroy (
PWI VST Child Development Associate (CDA) Mo thru Th, 9:00am-1:00pm Dawn Johnson (
Renee Orgill (
Emergency Medical Tech (EMT) Tu/Th, 9:00am-5:00pm Nate Dixon (
Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) Sat/Sun, 7:00am-3:00pm Karen Poles (
 GED to Careers TESTING ONLY By Appointment Roland Williams (

Please review the new
Student Protocol which you will be required to follow while attending in-person programming at the Training Fund. You will be required to complete a short questionnaire, and program coordinators will conduct virtual orientations via Zoom.

 New Students: Interested education and training applicants who want to apply for upcoming programs should please complete an interest form. We will be reinstating our assessment schedule and TEAS testing when we re-open the agency. Interest forms are available at:

          • District 1199C union members ONLY
ALL OTHER community members:

Training Fund staff will continue checking their voicemail and email throughout this emergency. You can find contact information for all staff here:

Dear Training Fund Students, Friends & Members of the 1199C Community,

The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has impacted communities all over the world, the United States, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. We hope that during this time all of your loved ones remain safe and well, and we extend our profound gratitude to the 1199C union members and other health workers putting their lives on the line to care for and heal our friends and neighbors.

The Training Fund program coordinators and instructors have worked hard to convert classes to an online format where possible and made alternate plans where online options were not possible. We are also providing services to union members as staff work remotely from home. Classes will also be extended as necessary to make up course work and clinical experiences to ensure students have all of the necessary knowledge and skills to qualify for program completion and preparation for credentialing examinations.

Moving forward, our challenge will be to continue to deliver high quality programs while maintaining safety as our highest priority for students, staff and visitors. To accomplish this, we will use a combination of traditional and distance learning approaches using online technologies to maintain social distancing guidelines. This will involve some retooling of staff, instructors and students to adapt to the new environment. The agency’s goal is to ensure students can engage fully in their education in a healthy and safe environment.

As always, students with questions should reach out to their program coordinators and/or instructors. Program coordinators can be reached by email as follows:

Addictions and Behavioral Health
Penn State Addictions Counselor
Jefferson (Philadelphia University) Health and Human Services AA Degree
Stephen Ridley –

College and Career Readiness/High School Equivalency/Pre-Nursing 
Michael Westover –

Computer Classes for Retirees
Jim Keller –

Culinary Training
Stephanie Webb –
Erika Shearlds-Hill –
Nathaniel Dixon – 

Direct Support Professional Pre-Apprenticeship
Mark Karcz –

Early Childhood Education
CCP Early Childhood Development AA Degree 
Child Development Associate for Child Care Staff
Family Child Care
Teresa Collins –

English for Speakers of Other Languages
Arlyn Freed –

Emergency Medical Technician
Stephanie Webb –
Erika Shearlds-Hill –
Nathaniel Dixon – 

GED and Beyond
Roland Williams –
Yattah Jones –

Home Health Aide/ESOL and IELCE
Carol Bloom –

Nurse Aide for Youth
Kristine Scanlon –
Sherette Campbell –

Opioid Crisis Training and Certified Recovery Specialist
Kehinde  Whetstone – 

Pharmacy Technician
Jim Keller – 

Practical Nursing
Karen Poles –
Shona Murphy –

Roxborough High School "STEAM Scholars"
Brittany Grabois – 

Vaux High School "STEAM Scholars"
Ellisiah Hall – 

Vocational Skills Training
Behavioral Health Technician
Child Development Associate
Nurse Aide
Dawn Johnson –
Renee Orgill –
Jewel Crafton –

Please be safe and practice good personal hygiene by washing or sanitizing hands, avoid large gatherings and confined spaces, and avoid social interaction altogether if you are sick. For a full list of recommendations for avoiding COVID-19 exposure, please visit The City of Philadelphia’s COVID-19 resource page,

To find free meals and safe spaces for students while schools are closed, you can go to 

Thanks very much for your understanding and patience during this challenging time.  We appreciate your support and send well wishes for your health and safety.

Sincerely yours,

Cheryl Feldman, Executive Director (
District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund


Anyone concerned about COVID-19 should visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health's website for the latest news and advice from our state's scientific authorities:

Healthcare and human services workers: PhilaPOSH, the Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety & Health, has information and resources to help you stay safe and protect your OSHA rights at work, available at

Friday, March 13, 2020

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Monday, October 14, 2019

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Friday, July 5, 2019

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Friday, June 7, 2019

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

June 5, 2019, 7:00 PM at the Kimmel Center

For more information, please contact 215-568-2220

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

April 24, 2019 Partnership Meeting


District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund

100 S. Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA 19110



8:30-9:00 AM             Coffee and Networking


9:00-9:30 AM             Introduction and Welcome

                                    Lois Scipione, MSN RN-BC PCCN

                                    Staff Development Educator, Nursing Education

                                    Temple University Hospital

Chair, IP Leadership


                                    IP Update –Apprenticeship, Grant Update, and Training

Susan B. Thomas

Industry Partnership Director


9:30-10:30 AM          Panel Discussion on Hospital Based Community Health Worker Programs-

                                   Rationale, Design, Outcomes, Successes, ROI

                                   Penn Medicine

                                   Olenga Anabui, MBA, MPH,

           Director Penn Center for Community Health Workers


Temple University Health System, Inc.

Deborah A Swavely DNP, RN,

Director, Population Health Studies and Innovation Temple Ctr. for Pop. Health



Jefferson Health System

Rickie Brawer, PhD, MPH, MCHES

Co-Director- Center for Urban Health, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals

Assistant Professor-  Department of Family and Community Medicine



10:30 AM                    Adjourn


Monday, February 18, 2019

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Monday, September 3, 2018

The Philadelphia AFL-CIO's 31st Annual Labor Day Parade and Family Celebration will be held on Labor Day: Monday, September 3, 2018.

Assemble @ 8:30am – Sheet Metal Worker’s Local 19 Union Hall - 1301 South Columbus Blvd. (at Washington Ave) Philadelphia 19147
                      9:15am - Rally & Program at Sheet Metal Worker's Hall Parking Lot
                     10:00am - Parade to Penn's Landing Great Plaza  
                     11:00am to 2pm - Family Celebration at Penn's Landing Great Plaza - Food, Refreshments, Kids Activities, Live Music

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Norman Rayford Day

Training Fund office closed in honor of labor hero Norman Rayford

Message from District 1199C National Union of Hospital & Health Care Employees AFSCME AFL-CIO: 

Norman Rayford, vigorous, enthusiastic, compassionate, and acutely aware of society’s ills, was one of a core group of dedicated unionists who, led by President Henry Nicholas, was responsible for the early organization of 1199C. Tragically on August 28, 1972, Norman’s early promise ended when he was shot and killed by a hospital guard on the grounds of Philadelphia’s Metropolitan Hospital.

Norman had gone to lend his support to a picket line at the hospital that had been set up in connection with a strike of 1199C workers at Delaware Valley Hospital Laundry, which was partly owned by Metropolitan Hospital. As Norman approached the hospital at 8th and Race streets, he was confronted by a hospital guard who subsequently shot him to death. His wife Kathy, was pregnant with their first child at the time of his death.

By the time Norman died, thousands of hospital workers in the city had voted for 1199C, but management at most hospitals had successfully managed to stall any negotiation of union contracts using a series of legal maneuvers. Norman’s death resulted in an outpouring of anguish and anger from health care workers and social activists that culminated in a memorable march through the city of Philadelphia to the site of his death. That show of strength—the result of Norman’s death—forced hospital management to finally sit down at the bargaining table.

Ironically it was those first contracts that made August 28th, now known as Norman Rayford Day, a paid holiday for all 1199C members.

While he was alive, Norman fought tirelessly to win union rights for hospital and nursing home workers in the Philadelphia area. Death did not stop his fight. To this day we at 1199C continue to fight for the rights of hospital and health care employees.

We have dedicated ourselves, in his memory, to the cause of bringing hope to healthcare workers everywhere.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

June 5, 2018, 7:00 PM at the Kimmel Center

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Summer Internships for rising 12th graders!

Are YOU going into 12th grade? Interested in a career in Philly's largest industry?

Come participate in a SIX WEEK, PAID Healthcare Internship Program during Summer 2018!
Click here to download flyer

Eligibility requirements:

  • Philadelphia residents only
  • Must successfully complete application 
  • Students entering 12th grade –must be age 16 by July 1

All interested students and parents must attend one of the following information sessions by appointment only!

Info Session Dates:

  • 100 South Broad Street (between Chestnut & Sansom), 10th Floor
  • Saturday, March 3rd, 10:00-12:00 AM
  • Tuesday, March 6th, 6:00-8:00 PM
  • Pre-Register with Sarah Robbins at 215-568-2220 ext. 5413!
  • Parking in Center City is difficult. SEPTA is recommended!

Be sure to bring the following items to the Information Session:

  • Social Security card
  • School ID (if applicable)
  • Recent report card
  • Work Permit if you have one

If you are interested: all students must attend a Information Session.
Info Sessions begin promptly - please try to arrive at least 15 minutes early.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Join the Mayor's Office of Education and the School District of Philadelphia for our Fall ECE Training and Education Fair on December 7, 2017 at the School District of Philadelphia from 4:30 - 7:00 pm.

Learn about different degree programs, professional development opportunities, and funding sources to get to the next level in your career or education in Early Childhood Education. Workshops will be available to gain more in-depth information about a variety of topics including funding, going back to school as an adult, and what a career in Pre-K entails.

 To register for this event, please click here.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Evaluation of CDA-to-Associate's Degree ECE ApprenticeshipDownload RFP 

This request for proposals (RFP) solicits a qualified consultant to evaluate the ECE Apprenticeship Program’s implementation and progress towards individual participants’ outcomes (e.g. skills growth and credential attainment), as well as its impact on the apprentices’ outlook on their career goals both with respect to degree attainment and in the field of Early Childhood Education.

Due November 20, 2017.

Thursday, November 16, 2017


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Join GPHP and our partner organizations for the next Industry Partnership Meeting:

October 25th, 2017 @ 8:30 AM

District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund
100 South Broad Street, 10th Floor Auditorium
Philadelphia, PA 19110

Catherine Verrier Piersol, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy
Director, Jefferson Elder Care

Our next IP meeting features Dr. Catherine Piersol who is the Director of the Jefferson Eldercare Program at Jefferson University.  She recently worked with our partner Simpson House to train several employees in dementia care. Please join us!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Click here to download flyer as a PDF file.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Download our 2017-18 class
and program catalog today!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Strategies & Education

Learn about the scope of workplace violence hazards and how they impact healthcare employees; and explore protective strategies, recommendations and systems designed to protect healthcare workers from violence on the job.

September 8th, 2017 | 8:30AM - 1:00PM

Featuring: Panel Discussion and Presentations by Safety and Security Experts from Philadelphia Hospitals, Nursing Homes and Agencies
Safety Education: Workshops on Preventing Workplace Violence in Healthcare, presented by Health Workers Working Healthy at District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund
Audience: Healthcare Management, Educators, Union Members and Employees

Monday, August 28, 2017

Step One: Assessment


Regularly scheduled Assessment Testing will resume Tuesday, September 5th. 

New Learner Assessment is the first step for anyone interested in Training Fund classes. All Assessment appointments are walk-in only – first come, first served – at the Fund's Breslin Learning Center (100 South Broad Street, 10th Floor) on the following days:

                                      DAY  ARRIVAL TIME   TEST BEGINS                                       
   Monday  12:00 PM  12:30 PM  
   Tuesday  8:30 AM  9:00 AM  
  Thursday 4:00 PM  4:30 PM  
YOUTH ASSESSMENT:  Friday 8:30 AM  9:00 AM  

Individuals ages 17-24 are strongly encouraged to attend the Friday assessment.
 This session is geared towards programming specifically for this age group.  If you are unable to attend a Friday assessment, please attend one of the other days and times. 

Evening cohort testing is available for District 1199C union members. Contact Jim Keller or call 215-568-2220 for details. 

You should reserve a minimum of 3 hours to complete the Assessment.
Testing seats are limited, and are available on a first-come, first-served basis only.
Arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled testing time – no late testers will be accepted!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

District 1199C Training Fund CDA Program:
NEW INFO SESSION: Saturday, July 29!

Register now (scroll down for form) for the Training Fund's Child Development Associate (CDA) program!


120-hour, part-time program — two evenings per week, 5:30-8:30 PM.

Accessible Center City location: 100 South Broad Street (intersection of Broad & Chestnut), 10th Floor
Affordable: $100.00 fee (includes books and CDA application)


  • High School Diploma or High School Equivalency (GED, HiSET, etc.)
  • Employed as a Child Care Worker or Family Provider in a Keystone Stars child care setting to
    qualify for the costs of the CDA credentialing process (additional opportunities may be available for West Philadelphia residents). 
Applicants must attend an information session. A FINAL information sessions will be held on Saturday, July 29th starting at 9:00 AM and ending at 1:00 PM. Please submit your registration form and sign up for an information session.
Questions? Please contact Lisa Wallace at (215) 568-2220 ext. 5419.

SPONSORED BY: District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund; United Child Care Union (UCCU); Child Care Providers Union (CCPU), with support from the Southeast Regional Key (SERK) at the Public Health Management Corporation and the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative.

Register for CDA Program

Thursday, June 1, 2017

JUNE 1, 2017, 7:00 PM at the Kimmel Center

Friday, April 21, 2017

Summer Youth Career Exposure for rising 8th graders!

Are YOU going into 8th grade? Interested in a career in Philly's largest industry?

Come participate in a SIX WEEK dynamic summer program!

Program Includes:

  • Paid work experience
  • Exposure to careers in healthcare
  • Guest speakers
  • Field trips
  • Creation of a service learning project

Eligibility requirements:

  • Philadelphia residents only
  • Must successfully complete application 
  • Students entering the 8th grade – ages 12-14

All interested students and parents must attend one of the following information sessions by appointment only!

Info/Testing Session Dates:

  • 100 South Broad Street (between Chestnut & Sansom), 10th Floor
  • Friday, April 21st, 6:00-8:00 PM
  • Friday, April 28th, 6:00-8:00 PM
  • Pre-Register with Whedai Sheriff at 215-568-2220 x5413!
  • Parking in Center City is difficult. SEPTA is recommended!

Be sure to bring the following items to the Information Session:

  • Social Security card
  • School ID (if applicable)
  • Recent report card
  • Proof of Philadelphia residency 
  • Call and register before attending Information Session!

If you are interested: all students must attend a Information/Testing Session.
Testing begins promptly - please try to arrive at least 15 minutes early.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thursday, March 30th
12 PM - 2 PM

Training Fund 10th Floor auditorium
100 South Broad Street (between Chestnut & Sansom)


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Now Recruiting: James T. Ryan Scholarship/Stipend Program

Deadline: March 1st, 2017

Provides a tuition scholarship up to $10,000.00 annually for one to two years for eligible members.

  • Must be employed full time at an institution contributing to the Training & Upgrading Fund
  • Once accepted, must be able to be released from normal duties by employer and placed on an educational leave of absence.
  • Includes books up to ($500.00) per fiscal year and uniforms/supplies up to ($250.00) per fiscal year allowance, continued health benefits, and cost-of-living stipend (bi-weekly).
  • Course of study ??must ?be healthcare or human services-related.

Download informational flyer:

Apply here:

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

FREE Citizenship Classes and FREE or REDUCED Citizenship Application Assistance

Offered by the Philadelphia Citizenship Action Network and the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund
Supported by the USCIS Citizenship and Integration Grant Program

Information Session [MANDATORY!]
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 9:30AM
100 South Broad Street, 10th Floor
(between Chestnut & Sansom)
You must attend the Information Session
You ?must bring your Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)

Classes begin Monday, March 6th!

In this program, students will: 
 • Meet with lawyers to check eligibility for citizenship in 2017
 • Get help completing the N-400 application and other forms
 • Get help applying for the Fee Waiver I-912
 • Receive 10 weeks of free intensive instruction
 • Learn everything necessary to pass Civics test and Naturalization Interview
 • Become a US citizen!

 * Tutoring is available as needed. *

For more information, phone Ms. Shaloo Jose (215-832-0909) or Ms. Arlyn Freed (215-568-2580) TODAY!
Email questions to

To apply, you MUST: 
 • be 18 years or older
 • have a Green Card for 5 years (or 3 years by marriage)
 • live in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware or Chester counties
 • have intermediate (or higher) English skills
 • have a clean criminal background
 • Purchase a $25 textbook
 • attend the Information/Registration Session (Feb 22) and English Assessment Test (Feb 27)

English Assessment Test: 
Monday, February 27, 2017 at 9:30 AM
100 South Broad Street, 10th Floor Auditorium
 • Contact Arlyn Freed at 215-568-2580 for additional details
 • You MUST take the English Assessment Test to be enrolled in the class


Important Dates: 
Information Session: Wednesday, February 22 at 9:30 AM in the Auditorium, 100 S. Broad St. 10th floor
English Assessment Test: Monday, February 27 at 9:30 AM in the Auditorium, 100 S. Broad St. 10th floor
Class Schedule: Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM, March 6 – May 5, 2017


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Free FAFSA Completion Workshop!

Penn State’s Philadelphia Community Recruitment Center invites you to attend our free Annual FAFSA Completion Workshop. COMPLETE the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with expert line-by-line assistance; SUBMIT the FAFSA by the recommended filing date of March 1, 2016 in order to maximize the amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive; FIND OUT more about scholarships and financial aid.


Questions? Contact the Penn State Philadelphia Recruitment Center: 215-246-3500


WHEN: Saturday, February 4, 2016, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

WHERE: District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund, 100 South Broad Street, 10th floor, Philadelphia, PA

DOCUMENTS TO BRING TO THE WORKSHOP: W-2 forms, federal tax returns (2014 or 2015), Social Security number, driver’s license, green card, record of untaxed income (TANF, Social Security, unemployment, or veterans’ benefits)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Free tax prep season begins!

The Training Fund offers Volunteer Income Tax Assistance at the Breslin Learning Center (100 S. Broad St., 10th Floor) from January 25th through April 12th -- all tax prep will be completed prior to the April 15th IRS deadline!

Schedule for On-site Tax Preparation: 2016 Walk-in & Drop off services (No Appointments)
January: 25th (4:30 PM – 7:30 PM) & 28th (9:00 AM – 1:00 PM) DROP OFF ONLY
February: 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd (4:30 PM – 7:30 PM) & 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th (9:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
March: 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th (4:30 PM – 7:30 PM) & 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th (9:00 – 1:00 PM)
April: 5th, 12th (4:30 PM – 7:30 PM) & 1st, 8th (9:00 AM – 1:00 PM)

April 17th will be from 4:30 PM – 7:30 PM to pick up from drop off and review ONLY

Drop off Service (for those with no more than two W2s and up to three dependents):
Please bring the documentation listed below. If you drop off on a Wednesday, you can pick up the following Saturday. If you drop off on a Saturday, you can pick up the following Wednesday. The preparer will sit with you for review prior to final electronic filing.

What to Bring: (even if you were here last year) This is a MUST:
  - NEW! Proof of Health Insurance (form 1095-A, 1095-B, or 1095-C)
  - All forms, W2’s, 1099’s, 1098-T and lottery winnings
  - Valid Photo Identification (MUST – NO COPIES)
  - Original Social Security cards for yourself, spouse, and all dependents (MUST – NO COPIES)
  - Information for all other income (i.e. unemployment, taxable miscellaneous income)
  - Other documentation (i.e. union dues deductions, mortgage statements, real estate taxes, all interest & dividends, education loans)
  - Child care information, including social security numbers or EIN number
  - Checking and Savings accounts numbers (must have voided check or account card)
  - A copy of last year’s tax return (if possible)

More Information

Monday, January 16, 2017

Training Fund CLOSED for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We will reopen Tuesday, January 17 at 8:00AM.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Early Childhood Education Apprenticeship Coordinator

The District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund is seeking a full-time Coordinator for our CDA-to-Associate's Degree Registered Apprenticeship in Early Childhood Education (ECE) program, a partnership with CCP, DVAEYC, PHMC and the Mayor's Office of Education. This position begins in January 2017.

The Training Fund has received a three-year grant to pilot an innovative new education and training program for incumbent ECE workers in Philadelphia. The ECE Apprenticeship Program will create an accelerated timeline for CDA-holding workers seeking their Associate's Degree by offering credit for experience and on-the-job learning. Participants will be supported by dedicated mentors and a team of partners throughout the duration of the project.

The ECE Apprenticeship Coordinator reports to the Executive Director as the primary staff person for the Training Fund’s CDA-to-Associate’s Degree ECE Registered Apprenticeship Partnership, and is responsible for coordinating between project partners, participating employers, and Apprentices; and supporting Apprentices’ success, individually and as a cohort, in completing all classroom and on-the-job elements of the Apprenticeship program.

  • ECE Apprenticeship Coordinator job description: click here

To apply, please submit résumé to Cheryl Feldman (, Training Fund Executive Director.

Friday, December 23, 2016

2016-7 Holiday Schedule

All 1199C offices, including the Training Fund's Breslin Learning Center, are closed:
From 12:00 PM (noon) on Friday, December 23 until 8:00 AM on Tuesday, December 27.
From 12:00 PM (noon) on Friday, December 30 until 8:00 AM on Tuesday, January 3.


The Breslin Learning Center is closed under the following conditions:
Day and evening classes are cancelled when the School District of Philadelphia closes ALL day for inclement weather.
Morning classes may be delayed if the School District of Philadelphia has a late opening. 
Evening classes are handled on a case-by-case basis when the School District of Philadelphia opens in the morning and closes in the afternoon. If in doubt, please telephone 215-568-2220 and request a Staff member or Instructor.

Check this web site for the most up-to-date information:

The District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund’s automated emergency alert system is not presently operational.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Employment Transitions Coach (College & Career Readiness) 

The District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund is seeking a full-time Employment Transitions Coach for our College & Career Readiness (CCR) program.

Under the direction of the Program Coordinator, this full time, grant-funded position is responsible for ensuring that the College and Career Readiness (CCR) department meets and/or exceeds the outcome requirements mandated by the State for transitioning learners into employment or retention of employment. The Employment Transition Coach will facilitate employment skills workshops to ensure that learners have the ability to search for search for, apply, interview gain and retain employment; assist in implementing the CCR orientation program; provide the pre and post TABE Diagnostic test; as needed link students with employment opportunities and support their successful transition into employment; provide group and individual case management and employment success workshops; organize job fairs; initiate and maintain up to date databases with student outcomes; and, prepare monthly reports on student outcomes and activities. Ability to work two evenings a week is required. .

  • Employment Transitions Coach job description: click here

To apply, please submit résumé to Sharadora Sisco (, CCR Program Coordinator.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

College Night 2016 at the District 1199C Training Fund!

Free event, 6:00-8:00 PM on Wednesday, November 30th.

For Training Fund students, high school students, parents, guardians and community members

Getting the most bang for your buck in higher education!

Information will be provided on:

 - Jobs that are high in demand
 - Financing college & completing the FAFSA
 - College Selection Process
 - College Application Process
 - Preparing for the SAT or ACT


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

INCOME INSECURITY & HEALTH: Policy Implications for Communities &Policymakers (HPRC Fall Policy Forum)

Thursday, October 27, 2016
10:00 AM-12:00 PM (lunch will be served) 
District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund
100 South Broad Street, 10th floor
Philadelphia, PA 19110

Registration is required at

Click here to download event flyer

FALL POLICY FORUM sponsored by the Health Policy Research Consortium (HPRC) with the cooperation of District 1199C, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

Guest Speakers include:

  • L. Toni Lewis, M.D
    Immediate Past Chair, SEIU Healthcare
    Justice Change Agent
  • Walter Tsou, M.D., M.P.H.
    Internist and Past President, American Public Health Association
    Former Health Commissioner, City of Philadelphia
  • Henry Nicholas
    President, National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees
  • Carol Rogers
    Director of Healthy Philadelphia

    The mission of the Health Policy Research Consortium (HPRC) is to promote policy and behavioral outcomes that will improve the quality of health care in Region III (DC, MD, VA, DE, WV, and PA) in general and in Prince George's County, Maryland in particular. HPRC is funded by a U54 grant through the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD).

    Phone: 301-375-2021
    Address: 6401 Golden Triangle Drive, Suite 310, Greenbelt, MD 20770

    HPRC, a CTIS Inc. division, is supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the National Institutes of Health under award number #1U54MD008608-01. This content does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Thursday, October 27, 2016
10:00 AM-12:00 PM (lunch will be served) 
District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund
100 South Broad Street, 10th floor
Philadelphia, PA 19110

Registration is required at

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

NOW RECRUITING: Free Home Health training for English language learners!

FREE ESL Home Health Aide training for learners of English as a second language, preparing students for employment in healthcare. 

This is a 12-week program beginning October 2016, with classes Monday to Friday 9:00 AM–1:00 PM.

You must test before applying:

  • Tuesday, September 27th at 8:30 AM
  • Thursday, September 29th at 4:00 PM
  • Monday, October 3rd at 12:00 PM
  • Tuesday, October 4th at 8:30 AM
  • Thursday, October 6th at 4:00 PM

You've been waiting for this opportunity: call 215-568-2580 today!

Eligibility requirements:

  • Pennsylvania resident
  • Attend all scheduled classes
  • 5th grade reading level or higher
  • Social security number
  • No felonies or disqualifying misdemeanors
  • Satisfactory medical clearance
  • High school diploma or GED preferred, but not required

If you are interested: call Arlyn Freed today at (215) 568-2580 to apply!


This program is sponsored by the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Message from our partners at District 1199C National Union of Hospital & Health Care Employees AFSCME AFL-CIO: 

Join Us for the 29th Annual Tri-State Labor Day Parade & Family Celebration

Sponsored by Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO and Tri-State Labor Day Parade Committee

Attention All 1199ers! Join Us for the 29th Annual Tri-State Labor Day Parade & Family Celebration:

Labor Day - September 5, 2016
Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 19 Union Hall
1301 South Columbus Blvd and Washington Ave - Philly 19147

8:30 AM 1199C Gathering at Sheet Metal Workers’ Hall
9:15 AM Rally & Program
10 AM Parade to Penn’s Landing Great Plaza (Columbus Blvd. and Market St.)
11 AM – 2 PM Family Celebration at Penn’s Landing Great Plaza - Food, Refreshments, Kids Activities, Live Music

Join All Labor on Labor Day – Our Day! You, your family and friends - All Welcome!

See your District 1199C Union Delegate to sign up your commitment to be there.

Friday, August 19, 2016

NOW RECRUITING: Youth Nurse Aide Training!

Free Nurse Aide job training for Philadelphia residents between the ages of 17 and 24!

Program includes/you will receive:

  • Free Nurse Aide occupational training, including clinical placement
  • Monetary incentives
  • Monthly transportation
  • Career coaching and job placement assistance
  • Financial coaching

Eligibility requirements:

  • Philadelphia residents
  • 17 to 24 years old
  • High school diploma or GED required
  • Not currently enrolled in any post-secondary institution
  • Ability to pass admissions test
  • Ability to attend all scheduled classes
  • Satisfactory physical on medical clearance form
  • No felonies or disqualifying misdemeanors
  • Meet income eligibility requirements

If you are interested: all students must attend a Testing/Information Session.
Testing begins every Friday morning at 8:30 AM - please arrive at least 15 minutes early.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Monday, February 1, 2016

LISC, Social Innovation Fund and District 1199C Training Fund join forces to open new opportunities for lower skilled workers in Philadelphia

New ‘Bridges to Career Opportunities’ addresses crippling education gaps — will support additional new services for Training Fund students in Occupational Bridge classes 

Philadelphia, PA - January 21st, 2016 - Text by LISC: 
A federal program that fuels grassroots solutions to community challenges is helping close the skills gap that traps millions of people in poverty, even in a growing economy.

The Social Innovation Fund (SIF)—part of the federal Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)—has awarded funding to the new Bridges to Career Opportunities program at The District 1199C Training Fund in Philadelphia. Coaches at the organization will teach core skills like math, reading, and English as a second language in combination with “soft skills” like interviewing, teamwork and conflict resolution—all contextualized to specific industries or sectors.

It's part of an $11.3 million SIF grant to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), which developed the skills program and began piloting it last year through Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs). There are 80 LISC FOCs across the country providing integrated services and long-term financial coaching that helps low-income families expand their income, credit, savings and job opportunities. Philadelphia has three FOCs so far, including University City District's West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, People's Emergency Center's Center for Employment and Training, and the FOC at Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha.

LISC recently awarded The District 1199C Training Fund $170,000 for the first of a three year contract to become Philadelphia's fourth FOC, build the Bridges program here, and reach 120 people over the next 3 years.

“It’s clear that many hardworking families continue to struggle, because they have fallen through the cracks of our educational system and aren’t able to move up the economic ladder,” said Andrew Frishkoff, executive director with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s Philadelphia program (Philadelphia LISC). “This program offers people a path to living wage jobs in healthcare and opportunities to advance their careers.”

“The District 1199C Training Fund is excited to become Philadelphia’s fourth LISC Financial Opportunity Center,” said Cheryl Feldman, Executive Director of The District 1199C Training Fund. “SIF funding will enable us to train people to enter healthcare career pathways that pay a living wage, investing in local talent by strengthening transferrable skills and providing credentials.”
These local challenges are not unique: an estimated 36 million American adults have low literacy skills and 62 million have low numeracy skills.

“We can’t ignore this skills gap if we care about our national economic health,” said Kevin Jordan, LISC senior vice president who oversees national programs. “It’s a fundamental part of helping unemployed and underemployed workers take advantage of the good jobs that are out there.”

SIF funded LISC’s initial expansion of FOCs back in 2010 as a promising new approach to addressing economic mobility issues.  The $21 million it has provided since then—along with funding from foundations and corporations and organizations like The District 1199C Training Fund—has helped more than 23,000 people annually tackle their financial challenges through FOCs.

“The Social Innovation Fund is changing the way the government serves the public by using rigorous evidence evaluations to find what works and make it work for more people,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “I am proud that CNCS is supporting LISC’s Bridges to Career Opportunities program, which will take an inventive approach to one of today’s most pressing social problems – building opportunity for the unemployed in low-income communities. Congratulations to the District 1199C Training Fund in Philadelphia on being selected by LISC to continue this work.”

To learn more, please visit:


About Philadelphia LISC:
Philadelphia LISC is the local office of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a national nonprofit community development organization that has invested $14.7 billion in 30 cities across the United States.

Philadelphia LISC is a catalyst for community change, working with partners to strengthen neighborhoods and improve the lives of residents. Philadelphia LISC combines corporate, government, and philanthropic resources to help community-based organizations revitalize underserved neighborhoods. Since 1980, Philadelphia LISC has invested $385 million to build or preserve 8,075 affordable homes and apartments and develop 1.8 million square feet of retail, community, and educational space.

About Social innovation Fund
Representing a new way of doing business for the federal government, the Social Innovation Fund unites public and private resources to evaluate and grow innovative community-based solutions that work. These solutions must have at least preliminary evidence of results in low-income communities in three priority areas: economic opportunity, healthy futures and youth development. The program will also capture and share best practices and lift-up models with potential for replication.

The Social Innovation Fund is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve.  For more, visit

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

New Annie E. Casey Foundation Investment in Philadelphia Aims to Improve Job Prospects for Young Adults

Nearly $1 million to be awarded over four years to strengthen the next generation of workers and meet employer demand

Philadelphia, PA: The Annie E. Casey Foundation announced today that it will award $6 million in grants over the next four years to increase job opportunities for America’s young adults in five cities, enabling them to begin building careers and develop the skills employers need. Nearly $1 million will be invested in Philadelphia through a new, nimble, initiative called Generation Work.

Generation Work will bring the best efforts of employers, funders, policymakers and practitioners together to match training and education with the skills needed in the workplace. This project leverages the collective expertise of four nationally-recognized core partners in Philadelphia -- the Job Opportunity Investment Network (JOIN), Philadelphia Youth Network, YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, and District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund – and connects Philadelphia to a national learning community for four years of investment by the Casey Foundation in building the infrastructure needed to get more young adults working.

“Our future workforce is one of our nation’s greatest assets, and we cannot compete globally unless it is strong,” said Allison Gerber, a senior associate who oversees the Casey Foundation’s investments in improving job opportunities for low-income individuals and families. “The next generation is eager to work, but we must create more avenues for young adults to develop the knowledge and experience they need to succeed in the job market.”

While the Great Recession hit many hard, teens and young adults have experienced the most drastic drop in employment, data shows. In Philadelphia the need for action and change is urgent; nearly one in five young Philadelphians is disconnected – out of work and out of school. Across the country, millions of young people — particularly young people of color and from low-income families — face obstacles to employment or education, and the percentage of young people ages 18–29 in the job market has steadily declined in recent years. At the same time, employers often struggle to find workers with the right set of skills for available positions.

Generation Work aims to combine building relationships with businesses, factoring in their needs in the local economy, with youth development strategies to prepare young people for work, such as mentoring and on-the-job learning opportunities.

“Through Generation Work, we aim to transform Philadelphia’s skill development landscape so that all young adults (18-29) have access to relevant, engaging careers and employers have access to strong, productive talent pipelines,” said Jennie Sparandara, Director of JOIN.

“We can only do this through partnerships with employers, funders, practitioners and policymakers that share the same commitment to strengthening our workforce,” added Jim Cawley, president and CEO, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ), the managing partner of the JOIN funders collaborative.”

Philadelphia was selected for funding because it has demonstrated a promising approach to young adult employment, with a particular focus on those facing some of the greatest obstacles to getting a job; the ability to effectively implement services for young job seekers and employers; and the potential to help foster broader uptake of their approaches in their respective geographic areas, among other strengths.

“Partnership is the key to success when it comes to aligning all of our best strategies, citywide, to ensure young Philadelphians are able to reach the next level in their professional and personal goals,” said Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Youth Network. “We are able to reach higher, and achieve greater results when we grow together as a team. I look forward to working with 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund, YouthBuild and other leaders to combine our collective efforts and systemic tools to expand opportunity so that access to employment and education are no longer hurdles to jump, but doors to open.”

JOIN, housed and managed by UWGPSNJ, will serve as the grant manager. The Foundation’s award will be used in the first year to engage key stakeholders and plan the implementation and evaluation of strategies to increase young adults’ access to job opportunities. Funding in subsequent years will support  documenting the impact of their efforts and promoting the use of these strategies on a broad scale in the public, private and nonprofit sector.


The Job Opportunity Investment Network (JOIN) is a partnership between philanthropy, government, community organizations and employers that develops and supports innovative efforts to eliminate the mismatch between the level of skill required for high growth jobs and the much lower skill level of many working age Philadelphians. JOIN is housed and managed by United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. For more information, visit

The Philadelphia Youth Network is an intermediary organization dedicated to equipping young people with the skills necessary to accomplish academic achievement, economic opportunity and personal success. To succeed in this mission, we bring together cross-sector partners from around the city to expand access to services for underserved youth and young adults ages 12-24. For more information, visit

The District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund, a labor management partnership comprised of the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees AFSCME and 50 healthcare employers, serves as a healthcare workforce intermediary and an educational institution. Since its creation in 1974, the Training Fund has built the capacity of the Delaware Valley's healthcare industry to create a highly-skilled workforce through on-the-job training opportunities and the development of an education pipeline of skilled talent that matches the workforce needs of Delaware Valley healthcare employers. For more information visit

The mission of YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School is to provide out-of-school youth in Philadelphia with the broadest range of tools, supports and opportunities available to become self-sufficient, responsible and productive citizens in their community. The first year of our program offers high school dropouts a second chance to earn their diplomas while developing vital job skills through rigorous academics, vocational training and community service; the second year supports them towards success in employment or postsecondary education. Learn more at

The Annie E. Casey Foundation creates a brighter future for the nation’s children by developing solutions to strengthen families, build paths to economic opportunity and transform struggling communities into safer and healthier places to live, work and grow. For more information, visit

Friday, November 6, 2015


November 6, 2015 | 100 South Broad Street, 10th Floor | Philadelphia, PA


Over 170 students from 10 Philadelphia public high schools attended the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund’s Healthcare Career Fair, an annual career exploration event at the Training Fund’s Breslin Learning Center in Center City Philadelphia.

The 2015 Career Fair celebrated Healthcare Apprenticeships, and helped bring the US Department of Labor’s inaugural National Apprenticeship Week — and Philadelphia Apprenticeship Week, as a proclamation from Mayor Michael A. Nutter declared it — to a close. During the Fair’s opening session, students heard from healthcare union and employer representatives working on new apprenticeship programs, a Community Health Worker Apprentice and her supervisor at Philadelphia FIGHT, and John Ladd — administrator of the US Office of Apprenticeship since 2008.

The Career Fair also featured healthcare and human service professionals from across the Greater Philadelphia region, whose generous donations of time and expertise helped make the Fair a success. Speakers at this year’s event included EEG technicians, Community Health Workers, therapists, social workers, dentists, hospital system and insurance company administrators, behavioral health specialists, and others. This range of speakers helped student attendees at the Career Fair widen their perceptions of what it means to work in the local healthcare sector, and begin to grasp the huge range of employment opportunities open to students with almost any set of skills, interests and aptitudes.

In addition to Career Panels, the Fair included interactive occupational health-and-safety training led by peer trainers from Lincoln High School. Lincoln students, who received their training through an OSHA-funded worker education program operated by the Training Fund, led their peers through hands-on, interactive educational presentations on disease transmission/prevention, dealing with hazards in the workplace, and other important occupational safety and health topics. 

Training Fund Executive Director Cheryl Feldman stressed the importance of the Fund’s commitment to supporting the School District of Philadelphia and its students: “This is one of the most important events the Fund organizes each year,” she explained. “As the healthcare system expands its use of Registered Apprenticeships, it's important that Philadelphia's young people understand that Apprenticeship isn't just about the building trades; it's a pathway to good, middle-class jobs in many different industries.”

UPDATE: WTXF Fox 29 News Philadelphia was on-hand to document the Career Fair!


For a complete listing of events around the nation and for more information on National Apprenticeship Week, please visit, and join the conversation online by tweeting #NAW2015.

Friday, October 23, 2015

In Loving Memory:
Arlene Johnson (1952-2015) 

Memorial Service at the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund scheduled for Friday 10/23 

Arlene Johnson, dedicated educator and inspiration to generations of Training Fund students, sadly passed away on the morning of September 18th.

A Memorial Service has been scheduled for 6:00 PM on October 23rd, at the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund (100 South Broad Street, 10th Floor). To RSVP, email or call 215-568-2220. 

Arlene was the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund's assessment coordinator, an instructor, and an integral part of the adult basic education team for approximately 20 years. Perhaps more than anything else she was an enduring support to the thousands of students she saw each year, spending an incredible amount of time encouraging each of them to persist in pursuing their educational goals. 

Arlene became very ill in April after a long battle with cancer.  She celebrated her 64th birthday last week, and went into the hospital earlier this week.  She was moved to hospice care on Wednesday.  

We fondly remember Ms. Arlene and her dedication to our students.  We will truly miss Arlene and the great strength and compassion that she shared with students and staff alike.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Training Fund "watch party" to celebrate White House Summit on Worker Voice

Open live-streaming sessions to be held at 10:30AM and 4:30PM

Please join us in the District 1199C Training Fund Auditorium at 100 South Broad Street, 10th Floor, this Wednesday, October 7th for the White House Summit on Worker Voice Watch Party.  

We will be streaming this event live at 10:30am and also at 4:30pm. President Obama will be speaking at both times about the value of worker voice for workers, businesses and our economy.

Please bring students and encourage others to come. This is a great opportunity to kick start a conversation about ways that a voice at work helps businesses success and workers thrive!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Now Recruiting!

Youth Nurse Aide Occupational Training

Get Your Nursing Career Started as a Nurse Aide!

If you are a Philadelphia resident, 17 to 24 years old, a high school graduate or GED recipient, & want FREE Nurse Aide training, this is the program for you!

If interested, please attend one of the following scheduled info/testing sessions:


Due to high demand from prospective students, we have scheduled two additional info/testing sessions for our upcoming Youth Nurse Aide Occupational Training program: 

     Friday, October 16, 23, 30
     Friday, November 6, 13
     9:30AM-12:00PM... Please be PROMPT!

Testing begins at 9:30 AM sharp. For more information, contact Kristine Kochel (215-568-2220 ext. 5504).


Sunday, September 13, 2015

US Department of Health & Human Services to invest $474,500/year to transform healthcare career and technical education at Roxborough High School, build pipeline into healthcare careers for minority and disadvantaged Philadelphia public school students

PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 19th, 2015: The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health and the Office of Minority Health (OMH) at the United States Department of Health and Human Services have announced plans to invest $474,500/year in a five-year innovative healthcare career and technical education program at Roxborough High School led by the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund.

"This grant is going to completely transform the way we teach math and science at Roxborough,” says Principal Dana Jenkins. “We're excited that our students are going to be able to explore math, science, and health concepts through the same collaborative, hands-on, project-based approaches that you'd find in real-world labs and research centers today."

The “New Faces” Health Professions Diversity Pipeline Program was awarded an OMH National Workforce Diversity Pipeline Program grant. New Faces will transform STE(A)M (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) learning at Roxborough High School through the creation of a STE(A)M Collaborative Learning Lab@Roxborough for hands-on, collaborative, problem-oriented, interdisciplinary project-based learning.

Based on the Expressive & Creative Interaction Technologies (ExCITe) Center model pioneered at Drexel University, the STE(A)Mlab and other project-related investments at Roxborough will create an open, accessible and exciting culture of collaborative, experiential, project-based STE(A)M learning.

Other New Faces partners include Philadelphia Academies, Inc. (PAI); the US2020PHL STEM mentoring initiative; Community College of Philadelphia; and Drexel University’s College of Medicine and Center for Labor Markets & Policy, as well as the ExCITe Center.

“This investment brings together some of strongest STEM-related businesses and higher education institutions in Philadelphia to give our young people a unique, yet critical, set of STEM preparation activities for future success in our competitive global economy,” explained Lisa Nutter, President of PAI. “Philadelphia Academies, Inc. has been working with Roxborough High School intensively over the past few years to implement the career academy model with fidelity to national standards, and it will be exciting to see how this investment will further the school’s transformation.” 

About New Faces:
The “New Faces” Health Professions Diversity Pipeline Program creates a comprehensive community-school partnership – led by the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund; Philadelphia Academies, Inc.; School District of Philadelphia; US2020PHL STEM mentoring initiative; Community College of Philadelphia; and Drexel University – to create an open, accessible and exciting culture of collaborative, experiential, project-based STE(A)M (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) learning at Roxborough High School that instills in all students, whatever their background, confidence in their ability to succeed in STE(A)M-related post-secondary studies and healthcare, human services, behavioral health and biotechnology careers.

New Faces incorporates evidence-based Best Practices in integrated STE(A)M education through an innovative model that features:

  • Structured, inquiry-driven, project-enriched math and science curricula
  • Biotechnology Program of Study (Career Academy model)
  • STE(A)M Collaborative Learning Lab@Roxborough for hands-on, collaborative, problem-oriented, interdisciplinary project-based learning
  • Highly-interactive, experiential health professions career exposure activities, and a structured, multi-year continuum of healthcare-contextualized project-based learning activities
  • Structured, scaffolded work-based learning activities, and part-time employment opportunities
  • Rigorous college-preparatory academic programming and Post-Secondary Transition/Bridge programming
  • Mentorship and leadership development activities
  • Educational and Career Pathway Planning counseling, and post-secondary student engagement
  • Highly-interactive personal and community health awareness instruction and leadership activities

  • These interventions will create a replicable and scalable pipeline program model to increase minority and disadvantaged students’ awareness of and persistence in educational/career pathways in health, science and behavioral health. The New Faces project partners will develop and disseminate products and resources to other schools locally and nationwide, such as: curricula and curriculum-related resources (lesson plans, resource materials, pre and post assessments); documentation on the development and implementation of the STE(A)Mlab; patient simulation lab activities; project-based learning materials with Essential Questions; work-based learning materials; career exposure materials; mentoring materials; professional development materials for teachers; and reports and other resources identifying findings, lessons learned, and Best Practices developed through New Faces.

    “With this investment, the Office of Minority Health is enabling us to not only transform the learning culture at Roxborough High School, but also to develop and disseminate a model that other cities and school districts across the country can replicate,” explains Cheryl Feldman, Executive Director of the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund. “New Faces will help us take the Career Academy model and the School District’s CTE programming to the next level, and we’re excited to get started.”

    About the National Workforce Diversity Pipeline Program:
    An initiative of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health and the Office of Minority Health (OMH) at the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the National Workforce Diversity Pipeline Program (NWDP) is a planned five-year project to support the development of innovative strategies to identify promising students in their first year of high school and provide them with a foundation to pursue successful careers in health professions. The NWDP seeks to address health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities by supporting networks of institutions focused on and with demonstrated commitment and capacity to establish pipeline programs to increase minority and disadvantaged students’ awareness and pursuit of careers in healthcare/behavioral health, and to increase the availability of science, technology, engineering and mathematics educa-tion programs.

    About the New Faces Partnership:
    The District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund (fiscal agent/primary grantee), a labor-management healthcare workforce development partnership between the National Union of Hospital & Healthcare Employees and 50 contributing employers, has offered academic, career exposure and job training opportunities to youth and adults in the Philadelphia area since 1974. The Fund’s mis-sion is providing access to career pathways in healthcare and human services for workers and jobseekers through education, training and work-based learning; and building the regional healthcare industry’s capacity to create a skilled workforce through training opportunities and the development of an education pipeline aligned with career pathways.

    Philadelphia Academies, Inc. (PAI) is a non-profit organization that expands life and economic options for young people in Philadelphia public high schools by providing career-based experiences to motivate students to stay engaged in their education and achieve success in careers and college; PAI created the evidence-based Career Academy model, since replicated throughout the country. The Career Academy model is a proven, evidence-based approach to expanding all students’ access to college and career opportunities, addressing the need for quality programs aimed at developing skills necessary to enter higher education and/or gain meaningful employment. For students, PAI provides work, life and college preparation readiness skills, connection to internship experiences, and scholarships that provide a path toward a productive life; for teachers and administrators, PAI provides technical assistance and tailored professional development supports to help integrate the Academy model throughout an entire school, so that all students benefit.

    Drexel's Expressive and Creative Interaction Technologies (ExCITe) Center brings together faculty, students, and entrepreneurs from engineering, fashion design, digital media, performing arts, com-puter and information science, product design, and many other fields to pursue highly multi-disciplinary collaborative projects. The ExCITe Center is a street-level, highly visible space at the corner of Market and 34th Streets in University City. The location includes unique facilities, includ-ing the Shima Seiki Haute Technology Lab, but much of the 10,000 square-foot space is dedicated to project collaboration, presentation, and co-working. The research and education activities of the ExCITe Center emphasize the arts-integrated approach of STEAM. Additionally, ExCITe serves to connect knowledge and resources across Philadelphia through civic, arts and culture, and industry partnerships with other institutions and organizations in the region.

    For more information, please contact: Peter Chomko, Research & Development Project Manager, District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund;, 215-568-2220.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Training Fund among
American Apprenticeship Leaders represented at first-ever White House Summit on Apprenticeship 

VP Biden, Commerce Sec Pritzker and Labor Sec Perez welcome Training Fund and other American Apprenticeship Leaders to White House Summit 


Washington, DC - September 8th, 2015: 
As part of its growing leadership role in the national Apprenticeship movement, the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund participated in the September 8th, 2015 White House Summit on Apprenticeship.

“Today was a great day for Apprenticeship,” said Training Fund Executive Director Cheryl Feldman. “Secretary Perez stated his very inspiring intention to build a movement for Apprenticeship throughout the country, and I am proud that we are a part of it – and a leader in this national movement.”

Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, US Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) and other officials helping to spearhead the Obama administration’s drive to grow Apprenticeship as a core American job training strategy spoke to a gathering of Apprenticeship leaders from across the country, including representatives from labor-management partnerships like the Training Fund. The first-ever White House Apprenticeship Summit, the event was committed to advancing job-driven training initiatives for American workers.

In addition, the White House and the Department of Labor also released a Progress Update on Job Driven Training and Apprenticeships, detailing the success of the Administration's jobs-driven training efforts, which have directed more than $1.2 billion in competitive grants – including several million dollars awarded to the Training Fund through two highly-competitive H-1B funding rounds – and $8 billion in non-competitive formula funding for training investments into job-driven strategies.

The Training Fund will also be playing a key role in Philadelphia’s celebration of the US DOL’s first annual American Apprenticeship Week this November. Please continue following our preparations at, and @1199CTraining on Twitter.

To learn more about the White House Summit and the American Apprenticeship Initiative, please visit:


Thursday, September 3, 2015

US Labor Department awards $10.5M in workplace safety and health training grants to 80 nonprofit organizations to help high-risk workers, employers

WASHINGTON (text by DOL) — The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has awarded $10.5 million in one-year federal safety and health training grants to nonprofit organizations across the nation for education and training programs to help high-risk workers and their employers recognize serious workplace hazards, implement injury prevention measures and understand their rights and responsibilities.

The District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund's Health Workers Working Healthy (HWWH) program was one of 80 to receive OSHA funding. Under the leadership of Training Fund Occupational Safety & Health Coordinator Ellie Barbarash, HWWH will present 1- to 3-hour safety and health training to workers employed in healthcare industries in Pennsylvania. Training audience includes low-literacy, and hard-to-reach workers. Training topics include fire safety, OSHA rights, workplace violence, job hazard analysis, infection control, hazard communication and ergonomics. New topics include Ebola infection control and safety for home health care aides and behavioral health workers. Training materials include PowerPoint presentations and factsheets geared to educationally disadvantaged workers. Training will be provided in English. 

The department's Susan Harwood Training Grant Program funds grants to nonprofit organizations, including community/faith-based groups, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor/management associations, colleges and universities. Target trainees include small-business employers and underserved vulnerable workers in high-hazard industries.

"Susan Harwood training grants save lives," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "The hands-on training supported by these grants helps assure that workers and employers have the tools and skills they need to identify hazards and prevent injuries."

Since 1978, approximately 2.1 million workers have been trained through this program. The training grant program honors Susan Harwood, a former director of the Office of Risk Assessment in OSHA's former Directorate of Health Standards, who passed away in 1996.

For more information about the FY 2015 Susan Harwood Training Grant Program recipients, visit and

More information on the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program is available on OSHA's website at

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

CCP Congratulates Conveyor Belt All-Star

Tessa Nickel, a student in the Training Fund's GED to College program, honored for her dual enrollment success at Community College of Philadelphia.


Philadelphia, PA - July 29th, 2015 - Text by CCP: 
The Conveyor Belt Program is designed to support dual enrollment students pursuing their high school diploma or GED. Generously funded by Bank of America, it offers students the opportunity to take credit-bearing courses while enrolled in their respective high school or academic programs. This year, CCP's Division of Access and Community Engagement (DACE) is pleased to highlight outstanding Conveyor Belt All-Stars! 

Tessa's Story
"The opportunities I've been given in the last 6 months have put everything into perspective for me. I never imagined that I would ever see the inside of a classroom ever again, let alone think that someone would think I had so much potential to offer me a college class while I didn't even have a GED yet. Things like that kind of force you to believe in yourself. It gave me an outlook on life that I’ve never had before."

—Tessa Nickel

Friday, July 10, 2015

Congratulations and best of luck to the Training Fund's newest class of Practical Nursing graduates!

Thursday, June 4, 2015


June 4, 2015 | The Kimmel Center | Philadelphia, PA


On June 4th, 2015, the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund and its partners in the Greater Philadelphia healthcare sector, the labor movement, and the education and workforce development sectors assembled in celebration of the Fund's 41st Annual Graduation & Student Recognition Ceremony. Over 300 students, supported by the families and friends, filled the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall as their achievements over the past year were commemorated, with the Keynote Address delivered by Pennsylvania Secretary of Labor & Industry Kathy M. Manderino. 

Award Recipients:

          2015 Partner Awards
          2015 Student Awards
          2015 Staff & Faculty Recognition

The Training Fund thanks all of its partners, all of its contributing employers, and all of its students since 1974 for their help in making the Annual Graduation & Student Recognition Ceremony a success each year.

Monday, June 1, 2015

NOW RECRUITING: Community Health Worker training (August 2015)


Temple University’s Center for Social Policy and Community Development and District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund are offering a Community Health Worker (CHW) Training experience, tentatively scheduled for August, 2015.  This training opportunity would require participants to commit to five weeks of training, at 30 class hours per week, from Monday to Friday, 9:00 am- 3:30 pm.
Community health workers serve diverse communities who are most at risk of illness.  CHWs provide a wide range of services, including outreach, home visits, health education and client-center counseling and case management.  As an advocate, they support clients in accessing high quality health and social services.

Successful candidates will have the opportunity to receive a tuition scholarship to earn 3.0 undergraduate college credits for the course from Temple University’s School of Social Work.  Participants who complete the training program will be positioned to apply for employment with health care providers!  Success is defined as having perfect attendance, being punctual, having good interpersonal skills, oral and written communication skills as well as a having a positive attitude and demonstrating professionalism.  Participants must be able to receive training information and demonstrate acquired skills in a variety of settings, e.g. through case studies, quizzes and practicum experiences. 

To be considered for training, below are some of the requirements:
Income:  Must be below specified income level (see reverse side)
Age:  At least 18 years or older with demonstrated emotional maturity
At least High School Graduate or GED certificate, and 10th Grade equivalent literacy and 9th Grade numeracy skills
Basic Computer Literacy
Must have a clear criminal record check
Must be able to pass a drug test and health screening, and have up-to-date immunizations
Must have related work experience or a desire to enter the health and human services field of work
Bilingual Spanish speaking candidates are needed.
Interested?  Know others that might be interested?  
Call PA CareerLink Suburban Station 267-647-6990 to schedule an appointment.
For more information, click here or contact:
Center for Social Policy and Community Development
Temple University
Ritter Annex, 1301 Cecil B. Moore Ave., 4th Floor
Philadelphia PA 19122

Monday, May 11, 2015

District 1199C Training Fund Community-Based CDA Program

Register now (scroll down for form) for the Training Fund's community-based Child Development Associate (CDA) program, funded by the Southeast Regional Key (SERK) at Public Health Management Corporation!


120-hour, part-time program — two evenings per week: Mon and Wed, 5:30-8:30 PM.

Accessible Center City location: 100 South Broad Street, 10th Floor
Affordable: $90.00 fee (includes books and CDA application)


  • High School Diploma or GED
  • You must be employed as a child care worker, family provider, or relative neighbor provider approved by Keystone Stars to qualify for the costs of the CDA application to be covered by PA Keys. 
Orientation is scheduled for Tuesday, August 18th at 5:30 pm—8:30 pm.

Questions? Please contact Stacy Campbell at (215) 568-2220, ext. 5502; or Charles Cunningham, ext. 5503.

SPONSORED BY: District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund; United Child Care Union (UCCU); Child Care Providers Union (CCPU)

Register for CDA Program

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Youth Open Mic Night at the Arts Sanctuary!

Join students from the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund's Youth Programs for an evening of public readings and performances! Click here to download a flyer, then join us and and feel free to share, speak, perform on a night of creativity and poetic power.

6:00 PM, April 30th, 2015

The Arts Sanctuary
628 South 16th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146

Friday, April 24, 2015

Training Fund, NUHHCE join VP Biden, national business, labor and workforce leaders at the White House UpSkill America summit

On Friday, April 24th, Henry Nicholas, President of the National Union of the Hospital and Health Care Employees Union, AFSCME, and Cheryl Feldman, Executive Director of the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund, are attending the White House Upskill America Summit, joining 150 employers, labor leaders, foundations, non-profits, educators and tech innovators from across America who are answering the President’s call to action and equipping workers of all ages with the skills they need to advance into better paying jobs. The commitments being announced at the Summit already represent significant action and progress since the President’s January call to action. At the summit, participants are developing plans to work together to build on these commitments by more widely promoting the adoption of upskilling training and career advancement strategies that improve workers ability to earn more over time.

SEIU and AFSCME, together with their local unions and employer partners including Temple University Health System, Kaiser Permanente, Addus Healthcare, and the League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes of New York, are joining together to advance apprenticeship training in the healthcare industry. This groundbreaking partnership between the two largest unions in the healthcare industry will be placing a minimum of 1,700 healthcare workers into Registered Apprenticeship opportunities over a five year period. This initial phase will focus on six states and three high demand and high growth healthcare occupations: advanced home care aide, community health worker, and medical coder. These apprenticeships will not only create career pathways for the workers participating, but they will also help address the acute workforce challenges of healthcare employers who are facing the rapid transformation in healthcare delivery in the wake of the Affordable Care Act. In Philadelphia, the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund will be working with employer partners to implement all three apprenticeships, as well as other apprenticeship programs for nursing assistants and behavioral health workers.

Vice President Biden's remarks will be live-streamed on at around 1:15 pm on Friday, April 24th; follow the Upskill American summit using #UpSkillAmerica on social media.

To learn more, please visit:

Friday, March 27, 2015


Training Fund Summer Youth Programs for rising 8th graders (12-14 years old) and rising 12th graders (16 years or older)! For more information, contact Nia Eubanks-Dixon at 215-568-2220 or

Career Exposure Program for Rising 8th Graders:
Program includes paid work experience; exposure to careers in healthcare; guest speakers; field trips; and creation of a service learning project.
Interested students and parents must attend an Information Session on 4/14 or 4/21:
 Click here for details and eligibility requirements!

Summer WorkReady Internship Program for Rising 12th Graders:
Program includes paid internships at healthcare facilities and non-profit organizations; guest speakers; field trips; and creation of a contextualized learning project.
Interested students and parents must attend an Information Session on 4/16 or 4/23: Click here for details and eligibility requirements!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March 1st

Full-Time Scholarship Applications Due!

March 1st is the deadline for eligible District 1199C members to apply for the Full-Time Scholarship for school year 2015-2016!
Full-time District 1199C union members covered by the Training Fund are eligible for the James T. Ryan Full-Time Scholarship benefit after one year on the job. The benefit includes a book and uniform allowance, continued health and pension benefits, a cost of living stipend and tuition up to $10,000 per year of full-time study. The Fund supports study for up to two years – perfect for healthcare workers wishing to complete a degree in a healthcare occupation or attend a full time vocational/technical program.

The application process for school year 2015-2016 began on September 1, 2014 and will remain open until March 1, 2015.

To apply, please visit

For more information, please contact Harriet Smith (