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Philadelphia Seeks $500 Million Shift in “Eds and Meds” Spending to Local Firms

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Via NPQ | By 

SOURCE: November 26, 2018; Philadelphia Inquirer

Philadelphia Anchors for Growth & Equity, or PAGE, is a new citywide initiative that seeks to significant boost local purchasing by 13 city universities and hospitals, writes Diane Mastrull in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“This is a unique collaboration between the city, a nonprofit, and all of our major eds and meds institutions.… They’re all lined up to figure out how to use their purchasing power to create more jobs,” says Jeff Hornstein, executive director of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, the nonprofit that founded and is leading the PAGE initiative.

The Economy League seeks, over the next 8–10 years, to “localize $500 million in contracts at 13 city hospitals and universities for goods and services—such as office supplies, lab equipment, food, video production, and web design,” Mastrull explains. If the League succeeds, that level of redirected purchasing could generate as many as 5,000 living-wage, middle-skill jobs for Philadelphia residents. The scale of the effort is audacious. But there is precedent. As NPQ reported earlier this year, in Great Britain, a buy-local effort in Lancashire (county seat: Preston) shifted nearly £200 million in spending (about $255 million at current exchange rates) and is estimated to have generated 1,600 local jobs in four years.

Harold Epps, Philadelphia’s commerce director, notes that, “We have a lot of power in where and how we spend our dollars.” Along with the Commerce Department, the other participating anchors are Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, Drexel University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Temple University, Temple University Health System, all of which provided seed funding. Also participating are Salus University, Community College of Philadelphia, Einstein Healthcare Network, La Salle University, St. Joseph’s University, and University of the Sciences. CONTINUE READING>>

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