Philly Leads in ‘Taking Care of Business’

Philly Leads in ‘Taking Care of Business’

By: Sara Warden

 

In NBC’s 2019 ranking of Top States for Business, Pennsylvania landed a lacklustre 28th position – lower than half way down the poll for business friendliness in the country. The state was in 39th place in terms of economy, 32nd in quality of life and 31st in workforce. But there is potential. The state ranked ninth in terms of education and sixth in access to capital. The Philadelphia authorities are grabbing onto these roots and nurturing them into shoots with the new PHL Taking Care of Business Initiative.

 

“This new investment will have a big impact on neighborhoods all across our city by providing businesses and neighborhoods beyond Center City with the resources they need to succeed and to thrive,” Mayor Jim Kenney said to the Philadelphia Tribune. “Reducing blight not only makes our city more beautiful but it helps small businesses — especially minority and women-owned businesses — attract shoppers and employees. When small businesses succeed, our economy grows stronger.”

The program was pioneered by city Councilwoman Cherelle Parker, with the goal of reducing blight while creating 300 jobs for local residents – that’s 30 part-time employees in each district who are paid $15 per hour. “We are committed to building a strong workforce and job market that will in turn help us attack poverty and crime to ensure inclusive growth across the city,” added Kenney.

But rather than making the employees public servants, they will instead be Cleaning Ambassadors, paid by the Commerce Department to Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), which will issue RFPs and/or contract with CDCs. “This program will pay workers a living wage and introduce them to workforce training that can lead to other professional opportunities and jobs. I strongly support PHL Taking Care of Business,” said Council President Darrell Clarke in a press release.

For initial costs related to the program, the city has now pledged $10 million to fund the initiative, which is a way to attract new business, improve conditions for existing companies and improve quality of life. “Strengthening our commercial corridors, which are the lifeblood of communities throughout my district and across the city, is essential to stabilizing our neighborhoods,” said Councilwoman Parker in a press release. “PHL Taking Care of Business will help ensure that every business corridor in the city, regardless of size or neighborhood, will be clean and attractive, allowing the businesses to focus more time on growing their enterprise. It will also help to change that awful characterization of our city as ‘Filthadelphia.’”

Several local business owners that are already part of the program’s pilot catchment area are delighted with the results. “Living on a busy street with lots of businesses, you always see trash on the street. Ever since the 9th District street cleaning team started, you definitely see a difference. I believe neighbors see the difference too. People walk around prouder and are more likely to speak up when they see people throwing trash on the ground,” said local resident Frank Huynh.

To learn more, visit:

https://kenneyforphiladelphia.com/

http://phlcouncil.com/darrellclarke/

http://phlcouncil.com/cherelleparker/

Spotlight On: Robert Kane, Market President, KeyBank

Spotlight On: Robert Kane, Market President, KeyBank

By: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read December 2019 — Philadelphia’s growing economy and robust education and life sciences sectors have been some of the main drivers of small businesses to the area. As reported in our Invest: Philadelphia 2020, many banks are seeing growth in small-business lending and services. KeyBank Market President Robert Kane, spoke to the Invest: Philadelphia team about the ways the institution supports the region’s small businesses and other services in high demand. 

How have you seen the small-business community grow in Philadelphia over the last few years and how is the bank supporting these businesses?

 

Philadelphia has long been home to successful small businesses, but in recent years the collaboration between the public, private and nonprofit sectors is spurring a new level of growth. Companies are creating quality jobs that are attracting a new generation of talented workers to the region. It is very exciting. As a bank, our most direct link to supporting these businesses is to provide them with the solutions they need to identify and realize their goals. From accounts to lending, payments, workplace solutions and more, we help small businesses thrive. For example, KeyBank is 13th among more than 1,800 SBA Lenders nationally. In the last five years, we have loaned more than $1.13 billion to small businesses across our footprint. We also created an award-winning, AI-enabled tool that provides clients with customized attention and allows a deeper understanding of their needs: the top challenges they face, sales and payment trends and entrepreneurial motivation. In 2019, the biggest challenges small-business owners face are improving cash flow, reducing operating costs, improving financial wellness, balancing growth with quality and hiring and retaining talented employees. We have a number of products to aid in meeting these challenges, including Key@Work, which is a comprehensive, no-cost employee financial wellness program. We also have a program, Key4Women, that supports the financial progress of women in business. It’s a great program, offering mentorship opportunities, access to capital and professional development. 

Which of your services is seeing the most growth in Philly and what opportunities does this present?

We’re seeing the most growth in commercial lending, which serves the needs of companies with $10 million to $250 in annual sales. In 2018, we had growth just short of 16 percent. Our differentiator in the market is we are both a commercial and investment bank. Years ago, you had commercial banks and investment banks. They were separate entities. This is important because when a company decides they want to sell, they typically need to hire an investment banker. KeyBank can provide our commercial clients with access to investment bankers as well as industry experts. It really helps us build deeper relationships. In the greater Philadelphia region, we have a few companies under mandate with KeyBanc Capital Markets to be the companies’ investment banker as part of the sale process. What that does is helps KeyBank become more of a trusted financial adviser to their commercial borrower. If the commercial borrower is going to be sold, we can also introduce our wealth management team to the entrepreneur for advice on his or her estate plan and investment strategy for the proceeds from the sale of the company. All of this results in KeyBank acting as the lender, the investment banker and the wealth manager. Clients value deep relationships. Our model provides that, and we’re experiencing great growth as a result. Last year was our strongest year yet, and 2019 looks equally promising.

What is your outlook for the industry in Philly over the next 18 months?

The outlook for the region is good and overall the economy is very healthy. Manufacturing, industrial technology, healthcare, sustainability—each of these areas and many others are poised for continued growth. At KeyBank, our goal is to grow as well. My job is to expose the bank even further in the marketplace. 2017 was a year of complete consolidation for us. 2018 was a transitional year that got things moving in the right direction and created momentum. 2019 is our year to hire the right people and continue to expand the products we have and begin winning in the market. We want to compete with the Top 5 banks in the region. It’s a very competitive marketplace, and we currently rank 10th. We’re actively trying to grow households and add new clients. This will further grow our loan base. These are the most important factors to our outlook for the future.

 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

KeyBank: https://www.key.com/personal/index.jsp

Philly Bets Big on Biotech

Philly Bets Big on Biotech

By: Sara Warden

2 min read December 2019 — The biotech industry is unlike almost any other. Companies spend billions of dollars in drug development that can end in failure, generate little to no revenue but can still be worth billions of dollars. According to Toptal Finance, almost 80% of the companies listed on the Nasdaq Biotech Index (NBI) – around 150 – have no earnings, but they represent over $250 billion in market capitalization.

The average venture investment in biotech has more than doubled over the past decade, from $4.6 billion in 2005 to $12.9 billion in 2015. Why? Because when a biotech company wins, it wins big. And Philadelphia is one of the cities channeling its energies into attracting biotech investment.

“In general, we are punching below our weight,” said Dean Miller, the president of the Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT), during the Regional Biotech Conference hosted by the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center last month.

In 2018, Philadelphia made it into the Top 10 ranking in the country in terms of most venture capital deals completed with 214, amounting to around $1.4 billion. During the first nine months of 2019, the number stood at 178. About 80% of VC is from other regions, said Miller, but “that’s not a big thing because capital is portable,” he added.

But Miller believes the $50 million Hatch BioFund life science incubator, established in July, will turn that trend around and allow Philadelphia-based companies to invest more in life sciences. “Entrepreneurs selected for the investment program will have the opportunity to be part of a highly successful ecosystem of support, resources, collaboration and knowledge sharing. We have tremendous talent and knowledge in our network, and are excited to bring the ideas and science that are incubating to the forefront of the life sciences industry,” said Vladimir Walko, CEO of Hatch Management, in a press release.

Another factor that boosts the sector is the fact that more and more companies are moving to the city daily as they can see the benefits it provides as a biotech hub. The latest to move to Philadelphia is Diverse Biotech, a biopharmaceutical company developing cannabidoil therapeutics for hard-to-treat cancers, including basal cell carcinoma, pancreatic cancer and glioblastoma.

The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center, which opened in 2006, is one of the primary reasons why the company decided to make the move. Already home to a network of around 50 biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical devices companies, Stella Vnook, Diverse Biotech’s CEO, said in an interview with the Philadelphia Business Journal that the center is “truly a tremendous scientific community and a perfect place for Diverse Biotech to continue its growth journey.”

Bradley Campbell, president and chief operations officer of Philadelphia-based Amicus Therapeutics, said innovation, talent and like-minded companies make the city one of the best places to set down roots for biotech companies. “We could’ve gone to Silicon Valley or to Cambridge, anywhere in the world really, but it was clear to us that we needed to be near the momentum, that spark of innovation, the entrepreneurship, the acquisitions, the medical centers — Penn, Temple, and Drexel, all right here in Philadelphia,” he told Philly Mag. “Being in proximity to so much innovation has been amazing for us.”

To learn more, visit:

https://www.toptal.com/finance

https://philadelphiapact.com/

http://www.pabiotechbc.org/

https://hatchbiofund.com/

https://diversebiotech.com/

https://www.amicusrx.com/

Spotlight On: Scott Zuckerman, Principal, Domus Construction

By: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read November 2019 — Philadelphia-area general contractor Domus was established in 1976. The company has now become a $100-million construction firm with expertise in managing housing, restaurants, retail/commercial and academic construction projects. Domus Construction Principal Scott Zuckerman spoke with Invest: about the company’s diversity of place, construction trends and more. 

What are some highlights for Domus Construction in the past year?

 

One of our most recent projects is the Dwell at 2nd Street, which is expected to be completed by December 2019. The project will include 198 apartments with a variety of amenities including onsite parking, a swimming pool and a dog park. One hundred and twenty of the units will be modular, which is a concept that seems to be getting more of a push in Philadelphia because of increasing construction costs. 

 

What key trends have you observed in the sector?

Modular construction and smaller, efficiency-style apartments are trends we’ll continue to see in Philly. Domus introduced live streaming construction in 2019, beginning with our Dwell at 2nd Street project. It’s a good marketing tool because 120 units out of 198 are modular and a lot of people are very interested in seeing the process of installing them in real time. The modular process is also friendly to the environment since it provides more ways to control waste.

 

What actions are you taking to ensure diversity in the workplace?

Domus has a strong and long history of diversity. We actively participate in community outreach and advertising to increase minority participation for all our projects regardless if it’s a requirement. Minorities comprise between 30 and 40 percent of the workforce on our jobs.

 

What is your outlook for 2020?

The outlook for Philadelphia’s construction sector seems very positive. We’re booked up until the end of 2020. There are new hotels that are rising around the city of Philadelphia, which seems to be a big trend. Most professionals and companies in the sector seem to be busy, which is a great indicator.

 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

Domus Construction: http://www.domusinc.net/

Philadelphia celebrates 100th Thanksgiving Day parade

Philadelphia celebrates 100th Thanksgiving Day parade

By Yolanda Rivas

2 min read November 2019 — It is well-known that Philadelphia is a city of firsts in terms of the nation’s history and the development of key industries. It shouldn’t be a surprise then that the City of Brotherly Love also hosts the oldest Thanksgiving parade in the nation. 

This year marks the 100th celebration of the Philadelphia 6ABC Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade. What is now one of Philadelphia’s treasured traditions began as a marketing strategy by former department store Gimbels to promote the beginning of the holiday shopping season. The first parade took place in 1920, shortly after the Benjamin Franklin Parkway was completed. Gimbels hosted the parade until 1986, when the company went out of business, and WPVI-TV took over the parade production. 

“The first parade was started with 15 cars, and 50 store employees,” said Todd Marcocci, a co-producer of the 6abc/Dunkin Thanksgiving Day Parade, in a written statement on the parade’s official website. “It was specifically described that those 15 cars were lavishly decorated in crepe paper.”

Decade after decade, the parade has been a special celebration for families around the region. One of the most exciting moments of the parade was the tradition of Santa climbing a fire department ladder several stories up the Gimbels building to Uncle Wip’s Toyland.

“The route was down the parkway around City Hall, down Market Street to the original Gimbels building. And then Santa would get off and go up the ladder and into the building,” said Robert DiBenedetto of Blue Bell, Pa, in a statement on the parade’s website. 

After five years, the parade started to gain more recognition. Today, the Philadelphia parade features 15 balloons, 16 floats, over 20 marching bands, 66 youth tap, dancing and choir groups and more than 20 celebrities and special guests.

“It’s a family tradition. The streets are filled with happy people,” said 6abc meteorologist and parade co-host Cecily Tynan in a written statement on the parade’s website. “It’s just a perfect way to start your holiday season.” 

To celebrate the 100th Thanksgiving Day parade, the public will have the chance to win several prizes, including a Florida trip for six, tickets to an Eagles vs. Cowboys game, and more. 

This year’s parade will kick off at 8:15 a.m. from 20th & JFK in Philadelphia, and will be broadcast on 6abc from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

To learn more, visit:

6abc Dunkin’ Thanksgiving Day Parade:

https://dig.abclocal.go.com/wpvi/html/tdp100/index.html

Our Pick: 5 Scariest Halloween Attractions in Philly

Our Pick: 5 Scariest Halloween Attractions in Philly

By Yolanda Rivas

2 min read October 2019 — Philadelphia is a city of firsts, from its rich history to its famous Philly cheesesteaks, the city excels in numerous areas. There’s no doubt that Philadelphians also know how to throw a spooky Halloween event. Here are our favorite scary attractions you can’t miss this Halloween.

Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary

What once was the most famous and expensive prison in the world, is now the perfect setting for a haunted attraction. Featured in many TV shows and horror movies, Eastern State Penitentiary’s six haunted attractions will take your breath away. Starting in the 1940s, officers and prisoners reported mysterious visions and eerie experiences within the 30-foot high castle-like walls, which has driven many people to believe the place is haunted. Terror Behind the Walls is consistently ranked among the nation’s top haunted attractions and will be open through Nov. 10. 

PennHurst Asylum

After being abandoned for 25 years, former PennHurst Asylum reopened its doors a few years ago as one of the state’s scariest haunted destinations. Visitors can experience four terrifying attractions: the main Asylum, the Morgue, Containment and Mayflower After Dark. Events and tours include a photography tour, a daytime history tour and overnight paranormal investigations. You won’t sleep, literally, during the overnight paranormal investigations, which give access to all four floors of the haunted Mayflower Hall and the underground tunnels of Philadelphia, Devon, and Rockwell from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. PennHurst attractions will open through Nov. 4. 

Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride

Arasapha Farms’ three main attractions, the Bates Motel, the Haunted Hayride and the Haunted Trail, have been consistently recognized with top national awards. It has been called the “best haunted house in America” by CNN Travel and one of America’s scariest haunts by the Travel Channel. Bates Motel brings a close and personal level of horror, with high-tech special effects, digital soundtrack, lighting and astonishing realism. The Haunted Hayride is a 25-minute ride through the dark forest of Arasapha Farm with scenes featuring a 100-foot-long, 40-foot-tall drive-thru insane asylum, a New England church, a 200-foot-long cave and a Headless Horseman. Finally, the revenge of the Scarecrows Haunted Corn Trail will give you the chills with a terrifying walk through a tall corn field, filled with walk-through buildings, sets and animatronic monsters. Arasapha Farm attractions will be open through Oct. 31. 

Fright Factory

This adult-themed haunted house is located inside a 120-year-old factory. It has been featured on the Travel Channel as one of the scariest haunted attractions in America and called “scariest haunted attraction in Philadelphia’’ by FOX29. The factory offers three themed attractions: Fright Factory Unholy, Industrial Nightmare and South Side Sanatorium. Through this year’s partnership with Scream Cams, visitors now have the option to be recorded through the scariest parts of the haunted house. Fright Factory will be open through Oct. 31. 

Ghost Tours of Philadelphia

Of course, you wouldn’t want to miss a touch of history while in Philly. Ghost Tours of Philadelphia’s 90-minute walking tour has been named one of the top 15 “must see” attractions in the United States. The tour is based on the book Ghost Stories of Philadelphia, PA and walks visitors along the back streets and secret gardens of Independence National Park, Old City, and Society Hill. Although Halloween is the perfect time to enjoy a ghostly experience, this tour is offered year round.  

To learn more, visit:

Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary: https://www.easternstate.org/halloween/node/3 

PennHurst Asylum: https://pennhurstasylum.com/ 

Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride: https://thebatesmotel.com/ 

Fright Factory: http://frightfactoryphilly.com/

Ghost Tours of Philadelphia: https://www.ghosttour.com/philadelphia.html 

Spotlight On: Chuck Hurchalla, President, Evolution Energy Partners

Spotlight On: Chuck Hurchalla, President, Evolution Energy Partners

By Yolanda Rivas

2 min read October 2019 —  Energy efficiency and sustainability are hot topics of conversation across all industries and organizations, public or private. Numerous organizations are now embracing eco-friendly alternatives to reduce their impact on the environment and reduce operational costs. During the last few years, full-service energy engineering and consultancy firm Evolution Energy Partners has helped hundreds of clients achieve their goals around utility spend, energy consumption and long-term energy management. Chuck Hurchalla, president of Evolution Energy Partners, recently spoke with the Invest: Philadelphia team about the rapid growth of Philadelphia’s energy sector. 

What types of services or areas of business are seeing the most demand in Philadelphia?  

 There is high demand in the commercial, industrial and institutional sectors for our energy efficiency and energy procurement services. For example, commercial real estate is one of our largest and continuously growing customer segments, particularly hospitality, office, multifamily, senior living and data centers. Regardless of industry though, we address inefficiencies across our customers’ mechanical, HVAC and lighting systems and we also help our clients significantly improve their internal processes. 

 

As a professional design-build energy consultancy, customization based on customer needs and the specific property’s energy profile are key. For example, a stellar guest and resident experience is paramount for our hotel and apartment complex owners, respectively. Our considerable experience in these verticals and our customization abilities allow us to implement a large number of fast payback, customized projects that greatly improve light quality, increase HVAC efficiency, and improve air quality for the benefit of ownership and their guests and residents.

 

To what do you attribute the rapid growth of Philadelphia’s energy sector?

 The opportunities in Philadelphia’s energy sector continue to grow rapidly for a few important reasons. First, businesses and institutions are increasingly recognizing the need to establish and then accomplish sustainability goals to address their corporate environmental concerns and the environmental concerns of their customers. 

 

Second, organizations’ decision-making processes around energy have historically been, and still are, based on the economic benefit derived from those decisions. As utility costs and related charges continue to increase, the financial bottom lines of businesses and institutions are becoming more and more sensitive to utility rates and energy consumption. Understanding that the utility cost center is one of the larger line items on an organization’s income statement, it becomes obvious as to why more and more companies and institutions are focusing on increasing energy efficiency and reducing their energy spend.

 

Lastly, Philadelphia is quickly moving forward with various energy regulations that will require property owners to benchmark their energy usage and to improve their energy efficiency. One benefit of recent Philadelphia-related regulations is the adoption of C-PACE financing. C-PACE, or Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, financing allows a property owner to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with no up-front cost. The property owner then pays the costs back over an extended period of time through a voluntary property tax assessment, which leads to increased project adoption and improved cash flow for the property. 

 

What makes Evolution Energy Partners unique?

 Evolution Energy Partners is unique in the industry because of our ability to evaluate a facility’s energy cost center from an owner’s perspective in order to positively impact the three critical areas of commodity prices, energy consumption, and long-term energy management. This approach has become even more powerful and more critical to our customers as environmental sustainability has become increasingly integral and imperative to our customers’ shareholders and to society as a whole. 

 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

Evolution Energy Partners: https://evolutionep.com/ 

Spotlight On: Matthew Taylor, Chairman & CEO, Duane Morris LLP

Spotlight On: Matthew Taylor, Chairman & CEO, Duane Morris LLP

By Yolanda Rivas

2 min read

OCTOBER 2019 — As the Philadelphia legal market grows and consolidates, Philadelphia-based firm Duane Morris LLP is focused on expanding and strengthening its performance through its strategic plan, launched earlier this year. Chairman and CEO Matthew Taylor spoke recently with the Invest: Philadelphia team about the firm’s growth efforts, most in-demand practices and the future of the legal sector in the region.

What are some recent highlights or significant accomplishments for Duane Morris?

We went through a full year of a strategic planning process, which was intensive. It’s also been galvanizing in terms of realizing how well-aligned our partners are in terms of who we are and what we want to be. We rolled out our strategic plan in the first quarter of 2019, and it has been met with great excitement. The plan is focused on what we want in terms of growth, higher performance and how we are going to accomplish those goals. We were also able to strengthen the firm by growing in key regions, such as Texas, New York, Philadelphia and on the West Coast with key additions in Northern California. 

Where are you seeing the most growth in terms of your practice areas in Philadelphia?

Our trial litigation group, generally, is very busy. Our private equity and emerging company practice is very strong, too. Our employment and labor practice is particularly busy and, along with our intellectual property group, is a preeminent practice for us globally. We’re doing well across all sectors. Things have been a bit flat over the last few years for our bankruptcy and reorg group, but this year there has been an increased amount of activity in that area. We have seen a nice broad base and good performance in all our practice groups so far this year. 

As part of our strategic plan, we want to focus on our Top 5 sectors in terms of revenue. About 85% of our revenue is in the following industries: financial institutions, health and life sciences, technology and telecommunications, infrastructure (including construction and energy) and finally retail and consumer products. Those areas are our focus across the firm and in Philadelphia, which is our largest office with over 200 lawyers. Clients are focused on what you know about their industry and how you can help them, instead of where you are located. Philadelphia has done a good job in attracting great industries and keeping great corporations in the area, which benefits our law firm.

What is your outlook for Duane Morris and Philly’s legal sector in 2020?

My outlook for Duane Morris is bullish. We have high expectations for ourselves as a firm. I am just as bullish about Philadelphia. This is a gem of a city, of a region. We have great educational institutions and industries. The infrastructure in this city and its great healthcare, restaurants, sports and cultural sectors are the main drivers of new residents and visitors to the city. Philadelphia is a great place to live and do business. 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

Duane Morris LLP: https://www.duanemorris.com/

How Philly Universities Are Getting Ready for Jobs of the Future

How Philly Universities Are Getting Ready for Jobs of the Future

Writer: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read OCTOBER 2019 — The higher education sector is one of Philadelphia’s main economic engines. As technology and innovation disrupt every industry, Philly’s higher education institutions are revamping their curriculums to prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow. The Invest: Philadelphia team recently met with college leaders to explore their efforts around workforce readiness. 

 

Many higher education institutions are focusing on emerging fields and professions to meet the needs of local and international businesses. “There’s no question that professions like technology, medical, and financial services lead to gainful employment in today’s society,” Aaron Walton, president of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, told Invest:

“A lot of our strategic planning aims to reshape our academic focus toward the jobs of the future. We’re talking about becoming a 21st century model institution in which there’s significant emphasis on the quest for excellence in academics, character and social responsibility. We are placing particular emphasis on the medical services arena,” Walton said. 

According to Pew’s State of Education in Philadelphia 2019 report, 28% of Philadelphians 25 or older have at least a bachelor’s degree — a lower percentage than in many U.S. cities — and 16 percent of Philadelphians have completed some college credits but do not have a degree. 

Aside from including new, innovative programs many schools are also reimaging the learning environment. “Twenty-first century learning has evolved dramatically, and so, too, have our learning spaces. Starting with our Business and Public Management Center, which we opened two years ago, the Sciences & Engineering Center and The Commons, and renovations such as Anderson Hall, West Chester University’s buildings are now being built to reinvigorate the learning environment based on the technological tools that students need to be successful,” Christopher Fiorentino, president of West Chester University, told Invest:. 

Due to the major presence of biomedical and pharmaceutical companies in the Philadelphia region there is a need for graduates in the life sciences and biomedical engineering arena. Widener University is helping students to advance into high-paying jobs through its health sciences, engineering and sciences programs. 

“Widener’s robotics engineering undergraduate program launched in fall 2018 and we opened a new state-of-the-art robotics laboratory with funding from a generous donor. We have also introduced a new occupational therapy doctoral program, which will be housed in a completely renovated building that will open in fall 2019,” said Widener’s President Julie E. Wollman in a recent interview with the Invest: Philadelphia team. 

Community colleges are also embracing innovative academic programs to provide qualified talent to the local pool. That is the case of Delaware County Community College, which is developing new methods to meet the needs of its students and integrating apprenticeship programs with regional business and industry partners.

“Technology has changed the way that we deliver education. We have an extensive Advanced Technology Center, which helps students navigate opportunities in areas such as manufacturing,  welding, transportation, logistics, automotive, advanced technology, skilled trades and others. Every program that we offer is infused with technology. That is what is changing the landscape; every career involves technology,” Joy Gates Black, president of Delaware County Community College, told Invest:. 

It is projected that 75 million to 375 million workers globally may need to switch occupational categories and learn new skills, according to a McKinsey & Company report. It is also expected that 8 to 9 percent of 2030 labor demand will be in new types of occupations that have not existed before.

 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania: https://cheyney.edu/ 

West Chester University: https://www.wcupa.edu/ 

Widener University: https://www.widener.edu/ 

Delaware County Community College: https://www.dccc.edu/