ABOVE PHOTO: Mayor Michael A. Nutter (center) and Drexel University President John A. Fry (second from right) pose with Mark Edwards (back), president and CEO of Philadelphia Works, Inc.; and board members Patrick Eiding (left), president of the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO; Tracee Hunt (second from left), interim chief people officer at Bancroft; and board president Joseph Frick (right), vice chairman and managing partner, Diversified Search. Philadelphia Works is a merger between the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board and the Philadelphia Workforce Development Corp.
Mayor Michael A. Nutter and new Board Chairman Joseph A. Frick announced a reorganization of the city’s workforce development system with the creation of Philadelphia Works, Inc., replacing both the Philadelphia Workforce Development Corporation (PWDC) and the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board (Philadelphia WIB). The new organization, which will be created during the next year, will reform the workforce system, making it a source of “one-stop shopping” for both employers and employees.
“Our existing workforce system provided many services to employers and potential employees, but it needs to be easier to navigate and better aligned with our economic development initiatives,” Mayor Nutter said. “By connecting policy more clearly to program and implementation efforts, we’ll be able to maximize our funding resources, improve services to adults and youth and create a more effective, user-friendly system.”
The Philadelphia Works, Inc. board of directors will be led by new Chairman Joseph A. Frick. Mr. Frick previously served for six years as president and CEO of Independence Blue Cross. He is currently vice chairman and managing partner at Diversified Search. Frick also has extensive board service, including a two-year term as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.
“This reorganization is a major step toward making the workforce system more efficient and transparent,” said Joseph Frick. “This will provide a more strategic approach to tying together the needs of both employers and job seekers, with a special focus on a stronger relationship with the business community.”
Mayor Nutter announced in June 2010 his intentions to reform the workforce development system. The City of Philadelphia engaged Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW) in September 2010 to perform an independent assessment of the system. CSW, in partnership with HR Consultants, issued a report, the results of which were announced today.
Mark Edwards, who serves as the president and CEO of the PWDC will assume a similar position at Philadelphia Works, Inc. He’ll be responsible for more than 170 employees and an annual budget in excess of $100 million for workforce development activities within Philadelphia. Eric Nelson, the interim CEO of the Philadelphia WIB, will serve as the new organization’s chief operating officer.
“We have a significant task ahead of us, not only with creating the new organization, but with a workforce system struggling with a less-than-ideal economy,” Mark Edwards said. “This merger will help us connect the research and policy arm of the organization with our public investments and will provide accountability for the organization.” In the words of Joe Frick, “it will also increase transparency.”
The merger and transition of the organizations are expected to be completed by May 2012. For a copy of the CSW executive summary go to www.pwdc.org or www.pwib.org . For a copy of the full 180-page report, contact Rachel Polisher at 215-963-2122.