Philadelphia, PA— Brandywine Realty Trust (Brandywine) announced a $5.6 million job creation and community engagement program as part of Phase I of its Schuylkill Yards development in University City.
In developing this program, Brandywine worked collaboratively with neighborhood groups and stakeholders to create Philadelphia’s largest and most innovative neighborhood engagement initiative to date. Through a combination of direct program implementation and grant funding, this comprehensive program addresses multiple areas of stated community need including (1) small, local, and minority business development; (2) job creation and career advancement; (3) affordable housing and housing preservation; (4) community organization capacity building; and (5) educational support.
“A key component of Brandywine’s mission is active support of the communities in which we operate,” said Jerry Sweeney, president and CEO of Brandywine Realty Trust, “It’s important that our projects not only serve our investors and partners, but also the communities that house them. This initiative emphasizes Brandywine’s commitment to working closely with community stakeholders to improve Philadelphia’s neighborhoods, and ensure Schuylkill Yards serves as a bridge to West Philadelphia communities.”
Brandywine’s Neighborhood Engagement Initiative will engage, employ, and help strengthen West Philadelphia. The initiative is designed to provide capital and capacity to local and minority businesses; employ local workers; provide needed job training and workforce advancement; preserve and add to the housing stock for all income levels; and encourage community organizations to fully engage in all aspects of their neighborhood development.
Mayor Jim Kenney praised Brandywine’s announcement, “I’m particularly excited to see Brandywine’s commitment to apprenticeship opportunities and career advancement, which complement the Penn Assist program and the workforce diversity model that my Administration and City Council plan to adopt for Rebuild. Through this model, men and women will be given real opportunities to learn a trade, and to earn money while they learn. And just as importantly, Philadelphians who haven’t yet benefitted from our city’s recent development and construction boom, will have the opportunity to partake.”
“The investment Brandywine Realty Trust is making in the people and the communities of West Philadelphia is commendable. In leading the Construction Apprentice Preparatory Program, I am able to see first-hand the direct impact this initiative is having on each individual involved and the sense of pride they gain upon graduating from the program and at their first day on the job,” said Walter McGill, executive director of the Construction Advancement and Placement Program (CAPP). “Because of this initiative, many men and women will be granted the opportunity to build and re-shape the communities they grew up in, providing a more sustainable future for their families and neighbors.”