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Roadmap for Growth event highlights business and school partnerships

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

On Monday evening, Janaury 29 at Girard College, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce hosted Roadmap for Growth: Exploring Business Engagement in Philadelphia's Schools. Nearly 200 people were in attendance to hear about the different ways that businesses are partnering with schools and education programs. Some of the top takeaways included:

  • Supporting education in Philadelphia doesn’t always mean writing a check. Businesses and individuals can assist in after school programming, curriculum development, student or teacher mentorship, job shadowing, internships and apprenticeships just to name a few options. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has opened its doors to Cristo Rey Philadelphia students to work in different parts of the hospital including research labs and information systems units.
  • Businesses don’t need a formal Corporate Social Responsibility unit to undertake initiatives. As we learned from Turn5, their engagement with Kensington Health Sciences Academy in embedded within their e-commerce business unit. This structure allows the company’s employees to have meaningful ownership over the relationship with the school and students and come up with creative activities to do in the classroom.
  • Lots of people and organizations will help you find a way to give back to schools. As an example, Citizens Bank has formed a close alliance with Philadelphia Youth Network in order to seamlessly offer summer jobs to high school students.
  • Many businesses are giving back because it is a talent imperative. From supporting Pre-K to STEM education in high schools, businesses are choosing to invest in education because it means a stronger future workforce. PECO views investing at both ends of the education spectrum as part of their workforce development efforts and has partnered closely with the Philadelphia Education Fund on strategy and implementation.
  • Long-term strategies can lead to bigger neighborhood-wide impact. Lincoln Financial described how beginning to collaborate with Read by 4th evolved into a partnership with William Cramp Elementary School in Fairhill and has now expanded to supporting other assets in the neighborhood like the local library and out of school programming.

  A recording of the program is available here.