As the population moves through the twenty-first century, the ability to enhance technology and become more knowledge-based is increasing by the day. In 2001, the mayor of Philadelphia and a committee, consisting of some of Philadelphia’s largest employers and academic institutions, concluded that “if Philadelphia was to have a thriving 21st century technology and knowledge-based economy, innovation could not only be a part of Philadelphia’s history, but must be a key component of its economic development strategy and future.” To follow this idea, Mayor John F. Street and the committee formed Innovation Philadelphia. Innovation Philadelphia is located across from City Hall in Philadelphia and serves the Greater Philadelphia Region. The corporation’s main goal is to focus on “strengthening the growth of the region’s creative economy, attracting young professionals to the region and providing resources for entrepreneurs to grow small businesses in Philadelphia,” according to their Web site www.innovationphiladelphia.com.
Many college students have aspirations to start their own businesses or become successful entrepreneurs. For some, it may be rather difficult to get a foot in the door and head in the right direction in fulfilling these goals.
With the help of Innovation Philadelphia, college students and young professionals are given the opportunity to enter the workforce and be actively involved in creative industries. These industries range from architecture to interior design to music production. If actively organized and invested in, Philadelphia’s creative economy could lead the city to the head of an economic development movement that could potentially receive worldwide attention.
Lauren Beley, a West Chester University alumna and intern at Innovation Philadelphia, is a prime example of how IP can help after graduation. Beley assists with the creation of the new IP e-newsletter, Innovation Matters. This newsletter is delivered bi-weekly to inboxes across Philadelphia, the nation and the globe.
“We spotlight young professionals in the Creative Industry and young entrepreneurs and post networking events in the Greater Philadelphia Region,” Beley said.
Innovation Philadelphia’s Web site is a great resource for job search links, transportation information, the area’s best attractions and much more.
As college careers fly by, so does the time and patience that go into searching for a job. With the help of Innovation Philadelphia, finding where a person should go after graduation may not be as hard or stressful as one may have thought it would be.
Lindsay Heil is a fourth-year student majoring in professional studies with minors in health science and journalism. She can be reached at LH589265@wcupa.edu.