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[Recap] – The Chamber’s Roadmap for Growth Hosts Policy Forum on Education and Workforce Development

Posted Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Member News, Advocacy, Press Releases, Roadmap

The Chamber, through its Roadmap for Growth initiative, hosted a policy forum on education and workforce development at the Community College of Philadelphia on May 24. Many ideas were highlighted in front of an audience of over 150 attendees that included business executives, educators and service providers as well as neighborhood and civic organizations. This policy forum featured a keynote address from Chief Education Officer Otis Hackney for the City of Philadelphia, as well as remarks from Nicole Anderson, President, AT&T Foundation & Associate Vice President of Social Innovation, AT&T; Daniel K. Fitzpatrick, President & CEO, Citizens Bank of PA/NJ/DE/NY; Dr. Donald Generals, President, Community College of Philadelphia; William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D., Superintendent, School District of Philadelphia; and Robert M. Poliseno, Regional Executive Officer- Mid-Atlantic Region, Chubb. Jim Rosenfield of NBC 10 moderated the discussion.

The purpose of the Roadmap’s policy forums this spring is to build a catalogue of short-term actionable ideas that Philadelphia’s business and civic community can work on in conjunction with the Kenney Administration and City Council. Each program features significant audience participation in bringing ideas to the forefront of the discussion. Some of the ideas highlighted included:

• Supporting a more holistic approach to education through a community schools model;
• Offering more high school internships so students can learn what having a job entails;
• Facilitating a more substantial dialogue between business executives and higher education leaders to better serve evolving workforce needs;
• Making Philadelphia a destination for educators and teachers potentially through incentive programs;
• Exposing students to potential careers—especially insurance, finance and accounting—at an early age; and
• Using technology to scale the impact of education at a reduced cost.

Audience members, including Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend of Philadelphia Youth Network, Father Joseph Campellone of Father Judge High School, Deirdre Hake of Spark-Philadelphia, and Diane Inverso of the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy, weighed in with ideas to consider, including:

• Changing the language and way that adults speak with students about how they approach their work;
• Encouraging education models that place students in the workforce during the school year;
• Creating a well-connected pipeline of activities and services for students from early education through high school and beyond; and
• Including older adults in how education and job recruitment is approached.

Here’s what people had to say on Twitter, find more using #PhillyRoadmap:

The Roadmap for Growth launched by the Chamber in July 2014. Its activities have included eleven Listening Tour meetings, six Issue Forums, a live televised mayoral debate, fact-based demographic and economic analysis, and candidate questionnaires. In December 2015, it released a second report to serve as the basis of a shared agenda with the Kenney Administration and City Council. The Roadmap has engaged with 145 civic organizations over the course of the campaign and added nearly 70 partners. More information about the Roadmap can found at www.roadmapforgrowth.com.

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