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Expanding Opportunity in Greater Philadelphia


Economy League Releases Expanding Opportunity Analysis 
Regional Civic Group Unveils New Website, Brand at 2015 World Class Summit 

Philadelphia, PA – More than half of all jobs in Greater Philadelphia don’t pay a family-sustaining wage and the region’s decentralized job base is increasing commute times for its poorest residents, according to a new analysis released today by the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia. The Expanding Opportunity analysis examines regional efforts to move workers from low-wage jobs to family-sustaining careers, support underserved entrepreneurs, and ensure broad access to transportation. 


The analysis is being released at the 2015 World Class Summit, an annual leadership event that brings 
together business, civic, philanthropic, and public sector officials for an update on progress around the 
Economy League’s World Class Greater Philadelphia agenda. The World Class agenda informs ongoing, 
collaborative regional improvement efforts to improve education and talent outcomes in our region, 
boost business growth, and make our infrastructure more effective and reliable. 


“Our region has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years driven by growth in city population and the 
emergence of a dynamic innovation economy,” said Economy League Executive Director Steven T. Wray. 
“But that has not translated into opportunities for everyone in our region. Much work remains to ensure 
that stronger and inclusive growth reaches all of our communities.” 


Notable findings from the Expanding Opportunity analysis include: 


  • Over the last five years, income inequality has risen faster in Greater Philadelphia than in all but two of the ten largest US metros. 

  • Greater Philadelphia’s central city and other core communities vastly underperform many suburban communities on measures of educational attainment, employment, and earnings. 

  • More than 100,000 youth between the ages of 16 and 24 in Greater Philadelphia are considered “disconnected,” meaning they are not enrolled in school and are not working. 

“Making real progress around an opportunity agenda requires a shared understanding – among business 
and civic leaders in particular – of where we stand, what’s being done today, and how we can make an 
impact,” said Robert J. McNeill, managing partner of Greater Philadelphia for Deloitte and Chair of the 
Economy League’s board of directors. “The Expanding Opportunity analysis provides key perspectives on 
how to help individuals and families prosper while maintaining our region’s path to growth.” 

Expanding Opportunity is available at the revamped economyleague.org website being launched today. 
The site provides comprehensive information on the Economy League’s World Class agenda and the 
Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange and includes a new, interactive update of the World Class 
Index – a roundup of 30 top regional indicators associated with the World Class agenda. In conjunction 
with the web relaunch, the 106-year-old Economy League also unveiled a new brand identity. 


“The Economy League’s new website provides a powerful and user-friendly platform for the substantive 
regional analysis and content that the Economy League is known for,” said Economy League Managing 
Director for Strategy and Operations Nick Frontino. “It’s a fresh look that reflects the dynamism and 
optimism at the center of the Economy League’s ongoing regional improvement efforts.” 


Expanding Opportunity and the new website will be unveiled at the World Class Summit on July 16 from 
5:30-8:00pm at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The Summit will feature keynote remarks by Amy 
Liu, senior fellow and co-director of the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, and a 
conversation with Kevin Dow, senior vice president of impact and innovation at United Way of Greater 
Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, and Eva Gladstein, executive director of the Philadelphia Mayor’s 
Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity, about expanding opportunity in our region. 


The Summit will also highlight leading organizations and collaborative efforts helping to expand 
opportunity in Greater Philadelphia, including the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, 
Entrepreneur Works, Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association, ITWorks/Tech 
Impact, JEVS Human Services, Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and 
Opportunity (CEO), SEPTA, Urban League of Philadelphia, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and 
Southern New Jersey, and Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians. 



The Economy League of Greater Philadelphia brings together leaders and organizations across all sectors to 
address the most challenging issues facing the Greater Philadelphia region. Built on our historic foundation of 
independent, high-quality analysis and practical insight, we spark new ideas, develop strategies, and galvanize 
action to make Greater Philadelphia globally competitive. 



The Economy League’s World Class Greater Philadelphia agenda is focused on improving education and talent 
development outcomes in our region, boosting business growth and making our infrastructure more effective and reliable. The World Class agenda was developed with input from more than 1,700 regional business, nonprofit, government, labor, and community leaders from across Greater Philadelphia.