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Economy League Releases Inaugural World Class Index

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE:

July 9, 2014

 

CONTACT:

Josh Sevin (215) 432-4441, jsevin@economyleague.org

 

 

Regional Leaders Use New Tool to Track Progress around Shared Agenda

 

 

Philadelphia, PA - The Economy League of Greater Philadelphia today is releasing a new tool to help business and civic leaders track progress around a shared agenda for regional growth and opportunity. The 2014 World Class Index presents how Greater Philadelphia is faring on key education and talent development, business growth, and infrastructure indicators aligned with the World Class agenda that has been developed with input from hundreds of cross-sector leaders throughout the region.

 

“This Index launches a crucial new chapter of the ongoing World Class Greater Philadelphia effort,” said Economy League Executive Director Steven T. Wray. “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 aspirational goals and priority strategies to improve talent, business growth, and infrastructure outcomes in our 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 World Class indicators alongside stories of innovative collaborations that are helping to move these metrics. Notable findings include:

 

  • Only 34% of eligible children from low- and moderate-income families in the region are enrolled in publicly finded pre-k programs.

  • The number of technology transfer licensing agreements executed by area research institutions doubled between 2008 and 2012.

  • PHL provides nonstop international service to 25 countries whose combined GDP represents 25% of global economic output, ranking Philadelphia last out of the 10 largest US 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 Chair 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. 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 three- and four-year-olds in Pennsylvania have access to high-quality pre-k 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,” said Kevin Dow, Senior Vice President for Impact and Innovation for United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. “We hope more social investors will join with us in using these indicators to inform strategic funding decisions.”

 

The Index will be released at the 2014 World Class Summit on July 9 from 5:30-8:00pm 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.