Philadelphia’s economy has grown significantly in recent years, but the city remains one of the poorest in the nation. To help alleviate poverty, the city is taking aggressive steps to connect low- and moderate-income residents to sustainable careers. The city’s newly created Office of Workforce Development enlisted FUSE executive fellow Barry Wilkins to help implement the strategy, starting with the establishment of industry partnerships that can help bridge the gaps between labor supply and demand in the growing local technology sector.

Barry facilitated four executive roundtables with more than 100 stakeholders and business leaders to better understand human capital needs in the technology industry. Among the insights that emerged from these convenings was the challenge of talent acquisition and an interest on the part of tech leaders in helping to develop the local talent pool. The convenings led to the formation of a first-of-its-kind partnership between the city, 10 local technology firms, and five strategic partners, an unprecedented collaboration that is laying the groundwork for a more effective and inclusive workforce system in Philadelphia.