Ryan N. Boyer, President of the Laborers’ District Council of the Metropolitan Area of Philadelphia and Vicinity, and Rob Wonderling, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, penned an op-ed in The Philadelphia Inquirer arguing that Philadelphia’s business and labor organizations need to collaborate to help reduce poverty in the city. The PHL Neighborhood Growth Project, also supported by GBCA, is a product of this effort.

From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

How can the city be thriving overall while poverty is increasing?

There is a simple explanation: While jobs and population are up overall, they are localized and too many neighborhoods struggle with a lack of investment, chronic low employment, and poverty.

The solution to this problem, however, is anything but simple. That’s why business and labor are working in partnership to reduce poverty by focusing on inclusive, neighborhood growth across the city.

We believe that to confront our city’s stubborn poverty, we must increase the number of good, high-wage jobs in every neighborhood and achieving that requires different things in different neighborhoods. Some communities may require increased job training, others improved safety, and others still transportation options. All will require a tax and regulatory system that is easy to understand and applied consistently and fairly.

This spring, a broad coalition of groups, led by the Chamber of Commerce, and including community leaders, members of the clergy, small businesses, and the labor community, worked with members of City Council to develop an Inclusive Growth Agenda as part of the PHL Neighborhood Growth Project. This multipart plan is focused on eliminating poverty across the city through inclusive, neighborhood focused growth and is built around four policy pillars — Inclusive Growth and Good Jobs, Education and Workforce Modernization, Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, and Putting People First at City Hall.

As individuals and as a city, we must move past the typical discussion of “winners and losers,” and focus on what it’ll take to build a job growth friendly city of Philadelphia.

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