Economy League of Greater Philadelphia Releases Progress Index
July 9, 2014
Daily Local News
The Economy League of Greater Philadelphia is releasing The 2014 World Class Index — a new tool to help business and civic leaders track progress around a shared agenda for regional growth and opportunity.
The index measures how the region is faring on key education and talent development, business growth, and infrastructure indicators developed with input from hundreds of leaders.
The index is to be released at the 2014 World Class Summit from 5:30 to 8 tonight, July 9, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
The summit will also feature keynote remarks by Michael Dixon, head of IBM’s Global Smarter Cities Business, as well as profiles of six organizations and collaborative efforts that are helping to advance elements of the World Class agenda. These profiles will spotlight the Pre-K for PA campaign, the Talent Greater Philly coalition, University City Science Center, World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, and Philadelphia Water Department.
“This index launches a crucial new chapter of the ongoing World Class Greater Philadelphia effort,” Economy League Executive Director Steven T. Wray wrote in a news release. “The Economy League is committed to monitoring our region’s progress toward World Class goals and deepening understanding among business, civic, government and philanthropic leaders about what’s driving gains and what’s holding us back.”
The index is the latest development in the ongoing World Class regional improvement initiative. World Class Global Positioning Strategies (GPSes) released last year laid out goals and strategies to improve talent, business growth and infrastructure outcomes in the region. Following this, the Economy League convened leading data experts to select key indicators to track toward these shared goals.
This inaugural index includes an analysis of trends for 30 indicators alongside stories of innovative collaborations that are helping to move these metrics. Notable findings include:
Only 34 percent of eligible children from low- and moderate-income families in the region are enrolled in publicly funded pre-kindergarten programs.
The number of technology transfer licensing agreements executed by area research institutions doubled between 2008 and 2012.
Philadelphia International Airport provides nonstop international service to 25 countries whose combined GDP represents 25 percent of global economic output, ranking Philadelphia last out of the 10 largest U.S. metros.
The complete 2014 World Class Index is available at the revamped worldclassgreaterphila.org website, with additional online content released throughout the year.
“Top regions not only align around a shared agenda and priorities, but, like high-performing businesses and organizations, they carefully select and track success measures to guide investment and strategy adjustment,” said Robert J. McNeill, managing partner for Greater Philadelphia for Deloitte and chairman of the Economy League’s board of directors. “The World Class Index will enable us to effectively do this.”
As the World Class initiative enters its fifth year, its influence and impact continues to expand, a news release from the Economy league says. Examples of regional organizations and leaders drawing upon the World Class effort to inform their work include:
United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, which is a lead partner of the World Class initiative, this year has incorporated the World Class education and talent priorities into its strategic funding decisions.
The current Pre-K for PA campaign to ensure that all 3- and 4-year-olds in Pennsylvania have access to high-quality pre-kindergarten emerged from World Class strategy development efforts.
Advocates for the World Class infrastructure agenda contributed to passage of Pennsylvania’s transportation funding bill last fall.
The CEO Council for Growth has aligned its federal advocacy priorities with the World Class business growth agenda.
“Working with the Economy League to establish these World Class indicators has helped us at United Way align our impact efforts across counties,” Kevin Dow, senior vice president for impact and innovation for United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, wrote in a news release. “We hope more social investors will join with us in using these indicators to inform strategic funding decisions.”