Last week, roughly 130 diverse leaders of our region’s business and civic community announced efforts to work towards economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for greater social justice.
Working with government and across industries throughout the region, we’ve created a true public private partnership called the Philadelphia Regional Recharge and Recover Task Force. The purpose of this hearty band of citizens is to provide actionable and practical recommendations to improve our economy with the goals of defending our regional market share and attaining greater market share from other regions across several sectors.
We do so with a commitment to approach this work using a lens of diversity, equity and inclusion to ensure that these recommendations benefit all citizens including those currently overlooked, underrepresented or disenfranchised.
The work of the Task Force and the Chamber’s commitment to equity are part of a stepped-up effort by the business community to identify areas for change and hold ourselves accountable for economic inclusivity and empowerment for all.
We are partnering with the City of Philadelphia, the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery, Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration and other stakeholders throughout the city and region to develop sector-specific plans containing short and medium-term actionable solutions to accelerate inclusive growth. Since there is no time to lose, we intend to get to work immediately and make our recommendations available this summer.
The sectors we are focusing upon include higher education, small and mid-sized companies, talent and workforce, hospitality/tourism/arts and culture, health care delivery, financial services, tech, media, telecom and life sciences. We will also conduct a pre-pandemic economic impact assessment and post-pandemic forecast to help inform our work.
This is an all-hands-on-deck effort, not a drill, and we need everyone engaged at all levels to be allies and advocates for those who have been voiceless. We are certain that with much urgency, hard work, collaboration and understanding we will be part of bringing lasting change and greater economic growth to our region and all its citizens. For additional information, please visit our website at chamberphl.com/news
Rob Wonderling is president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia