University City District recently received a generous $400,000 gift from the Lenfest Foundation to support the expansion of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI). The funds will allow us to add capacity as we engage young adults in our program, and develop new approaches to training workers who can participate in the ongoing construction boom in University City.
In recent months, University City District has imagined a system through which we can leverage the broader economic development influence of our anchor and business collaborative. For our next phase of growth, we seek to expand the number of underserved residents we train in our core employment pipelines, create new employment opportunities through business ventures fueled by the purchasing power of our institutional partners, and execute an innovative approach to employment opportunities in the skilled trades for economically disconnected West Philadelphians.
The Lenfest Foundation’s gift is a major investment in our work and will help us toward our ambitious goal of leveraging the power of University City’s opportunity ecosystem to serve 500 individuals each year by 2020.