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:
- small, local, and minority business development
- job creation and career advancement
- affordable housing and housing preservation
- community organization capacity building
- 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.
“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,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “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.”