City of Philadelphia Jobs Commission Report

The Philadelphia Jobs Commission includes 17 government, non‐profit, and business leaders, and was chaired by Robert C. Nelson, President and CEO of Philadelphia OIC, Inc. From September 2012 to January 2013, the Jobs Commission conducted monthly meetings, convened several sub committees, held two public hearings, and worked with Econsult Solutions, Inc. to assemble secondary data, survey responses, best practices research, and other information that were necessary to produce this report.

Background and Context:

Because of the importance of job creation and retention for the City’s economic growth and vitality, Resolution No. 110063 was passed in 2011 by City Council, forming a Jobs Commission to perform the following tasks related to creating and retaining private sector jobs for City residents:

The purpose of the Commission is to determine how City government and other public, quasi‐public and non‐profit agencies can best marshal their resources in a consistent, comprehensive, and coordinated manner to create and preserve private sector jobs for Philadelphians.

To that end, the Commission shall identify all entities that play a significant role, either directly or indirectly, in influencing the growth of the local private sector economy; evaluate the effectiveness of those entities, including, but not limited to, the extent to which their respective initiatives are coordinated with each other; articulate the key factors that contribute to or impede the growth and retention of private sector jobs for Philadelphians; identify successful job creation policies and initiatives used in other jurisdictions; develop a set of principles to guide future decision‐making with respect to job creation initiatives; and, through the application of those principles, develop specific recommendations for reform.

The analysis undertaken by the Commission shall encompass, but not be limited to, the following areas of concern: job training; workforce development; economic development, including land acquisition and disposition; education; licensing, zoning, and other regulatory processes; and tax policies.


Key Recommendations:

1. The Commerce Department should produce an annual report that connects job creation and retention to the city’s overall economic development strategy, and that reports on job creation and retention results.

2. As part of this annual report, Philadelphia Works should produce a section that looks at how various workforce development programs supported job creation and retention.

3. The Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) should produce an annual workforce disparity study that compares employment opportunities represented by City government with the availability of City residents to fulfill those opportunities.

4. The Mayor should form an ongoing Jobs Commission to monitor the City’s progress in implementing these 15 recommendations.

5. The City should pursue tax reform, regulatory reform, infrastructure investment, and partnership services to improve the climate for small businesses.

6. The City should use all available means to promote entrepreneurship and increase business formation, with particular investment in Start Up PHL and particular focus on technology transfer.

7. The City should, through Select Greater Philadelphia, expand business attraction efforts, with a particular focus on attracting non‐US firms seeking a US presence.

8. OEO should monitor and enforce Economic Opportunity Plan goals more closely.

9. City Council should expand its existing Job Creation Tax Credit.

10. City Council should increase funding to Philadelphia Works to provide additional wage subsidies for private employers that hire from hard‐to‐employ populations, including ex‐offenders.

11. City Council should commit to a long‐term schedule of tax reform, including reduction in business and wage tax rates.

12. Commerce, Select, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, and Philadelphia Works should coordinate industry, training, and policy efforts, with a particular focus on responding to high employment growth opportunities.

13. Commerce and the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities should work with SEPTA to provide shuttle service from key City residential hubs to key suburban employment hubs.

14. The City should increase funding to Graduate! Philadelphia to provide resources to provide easy onramps for people to obtain educational credentials.

15. The Legislative Affairs Office should have a strategic approach to engaging the Commonwealth in these job creation and retention efforts.


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