As a Chamber our mission is clear: To attract, retain, and grow jobs in the Greater Philadelphia region. For the Greater Philadelphia regional economy to grow, we must do a better job of educating our children and preparing them for the jobs of the 21st century.

The Chamber and members of the regional business and civic communities are working on a unified, deliberate strategy on how the business community can help to improve education whether it be public, charter, or parochial in Philadelphia by offering practical solutions in three specific areas.

The first area is Leadership: How can we help the School Reform Commission, the Superintendent, the Mayor, and the Governor in their concerted efforts to improve our schools?

The second area is Efficiencies: How can the expertise of the business community help determine efficiencies within the school district, including assisting with an analysis of excess capacity? Can we help provide a more efficient education system at a lower cost?

The third area is certainly the most important, the Children: How can we support these children to really make a difference in their lives, to help them be successful in school, to help them go on to higher learning, to help prepare them for jobs that businesses need? This last area in particular will be a multi-year strategy and will require significant investment of time and resources on the part of the business community.

Philadelphia must produce more high school graduates who are proficient in numerous disciplines. Businesses that cannot find the workers they need close to home are often forced to expand elsewhere. Philadelphia cannot prosper without good schools. Its civic life and economy depend on it.