Airport BRIDGE Program Allows Employees to Improve, Grow and Thrive

City of Philadelphia Department of Aviation employees now have an opportunity to improve, grow and thrive in various positions at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and Northeast Philadelphia Airport (PNE) through the Department’s new BRIDGE program. The program, which was initiated by the airports’ Workforce Development Unit, provides current employees with information, tools and resources while also attracting new talent. Targeted partnerships, training and development, and implementing strategic goals are also part of the program. The BRIDGE program is managed by Director of Workforce Development Chevelle Harrison, along with Training and Development Manager Linda Ivey. 

By providing career growth opportunities, enhancing employee participation, and developing collaborations to sustain talent pipelines, the employee BRIDGE Program is intended to foster inclusivity. As one of Workforce Development's many initiatives aimed at increasing talent and retention, the program offers both internal and external pipelines that target employees, students, and apprentices.  Partnerships include local colleges and universities, the School District of Philadelphia and JEVS Human Services (JEVS).  

The BRIDGE program includes four important components: upskilling and reskilling employees, internships, and apprenticeships. Upskilling is an internal service in collaboration with the Human Resources and Training and Development Units. Employees can get career mapping advice and learn what steps or education they need to progress in their career or expound on their skill sets by completing an intake interview. Employees are also encouraged to utilize the airports’ internal PHL University, as well as the City’s current tuition reimbursement program.  

“This program is life changing because it deals with the actual needs of the employee by way of upskilling,” said Harrison. “By actually sitting down with employees and showing them their career path and possibilities, we’re taking the guess work out of the equation.”  

Reskilling consists of learning a new job and being trained on a position outside of an employee’s current role. Employees may qualify for civil service positions, with a higher salary, after completing certain requirements. Some positions which qualify for reskilling are Electrician 1, HVAC Mechanic 1, Stationary Engineer, Window Washer and Machinery Equipment Mechanic 1. For example, a current custodial worker would be able to transition as an Electrician 1, through reskilling. On-the-job training, professional development coaching, mentoring, and certification or technical training programs are all part of the reskilling process. “If you have a skill trade under your belt, you’re employable all the time,” said Harrison.  

Through internships, high school and college students across the region are exposed to aviation careers and acquire skills in preparation for a career in various industries. Apprenticeships utilize external pipelines by recruiting from high schools within the School District of Philadelphia to fill technical positions.  The BRIDGE program aims to cultivate existing talent in Philadelphia with residents who will most likely retire in the city.  

“We want to provide people with the necessary tools to be successful in their careers at the airports,” said Harrison. “Through career mapping, upskilling, reskilling and assisted mentorship, we guide them every step of the way. We want to foster a sense of belonging. You never know where you’ll land. The sky is the limit. The BRIDGE program allows folks to soar to new heights.” 


Media Contacts

Christine Ottow
Director of Strategic Communications
[email protected]
Heather Redfern
Public Affairs Manager
[email protected]

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