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FUSE Fellow Joins City of Philadelphia to Aid with Development and Execution of Citywide Workforce Strategy

November 15, 2017 Published by: Managing Director’s OfficeDepartment of CommerceOffice of the Mayor PHILADELPHIA — The Department of Commerce and Managing Director’s Office announced that the City of Philadelphia is partnering with FUSE Corps to welcome an executive FUSE Fellow who will support the development and implementation of a citywide workforce strategy. Barry Wilkins, the City’s inaugural FUSE Fellow, joined the program after 15 years of experience in the banking industry. “Creating a vision for workforce development that addresses the needs of both employers and Philadelphia residents is a top priority for my administration,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The Department of Commerce and Managing Director’s Office have been working diligently to turn that vision into an actionable strategy; and the addition of a private sector leader like Barry Wilkins to our team will help ensure the employer perspective is well represented in the citywide workforce strategy.” In his role as a FUSE Fellow, Wilkins will be focused on reaching out to stakeholders and especially to employers to understand their challenges and get their buy-in for participation in the workforce development strategy. He will also coordinate with workforce intermediaries and partners to build out the infrastructure necessary to support the development of relevant and impactful sector-based partnerships in high-growth sectors of the economy. “It is a great honor to join the City of Philadelphia as a FUSE Fellow for the next year,” said Barry Wilkins. “After more than a decade in the private sector, I am eager to apply my skillset as a public servant. Creating an environment and opportunities where more Philadelphia residents can realize economic security and move into the middle class is not about charity – it is smart policy, and smart business. I look forward to being part of the strategy that will guide the City’s efforts in this arena for the next several years.” Wilkins will work with the Department of Commerce and Managing Director’s Office during his one-year fellowship. He is a banking professional with more than 15 years of industry experience across retail banking, corporate and investment banking, and wealth management. Most recently, Barry served as a senior relationship strategist at PNC Bank, where he led a team of advisors in the creation and implementation of comprehensive wealth plans tailored to the unique needs of his clients. Prior to that, he held several positions at Wachovia, including international structured trade analyst, where he provided detailed management reporting related to commercial lending activities across the company’s global correspondent banking network. Barry earned a BS in economics from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA in finance from LaSalle University. Read more about the fellowship project here.

FUSE Fellow Joins City of Philadelphia to Aid with Development and Execution of Citywide Workforce Strategy

Meeting of the Minds: What They Learned

By Ray Delgado As cities face ever-changing challenges, civic leaders from across different sectors and industries are finding new ways to take them on. At the recent Meeting of the Minds summit, a group of leaders from local government agencies, corporations, foundations, nonprofits, and academia came together during a lively discussion to share what they’ve learned. We asked the guests to articulate the single biggest challenge facing American cities over the next 50 years. Though their responses varied, a few tactile solutions surfaced.

  1. Those who are most impacted by systems changes and failures are those who are most disconnected from the problem-solving process. At the core of any solution should be community engagement and input.
  1. Creative partnerships open up new possibilities to unlock solutions to complex challenges. And to that end, cross-sector collaborations are crucial for tackling issues like autonomous vehicles and connected cities.
  1. Cities that are testing new approaches can learn from each other. One example cited was Louisville’s public proclamation that it was a “Compassionate City” in 2011, an initiative that included mentoring programs, community beautification and clean projects, and volunteer opportunities as part of a broader Charter for Compassion International movement. Members of Compassionate Louisville’s Coordinating Circle have since mentored more than 30 other cities interested in joining the Compassionate Cities movement. These cities include Winnipeg, Nashville, San Antonio, St. Louis, and Toledo.
  1. Collective impact works. A guest highlighted the collective impact that the city of Columbus, Ohio, was able to achieve through a day of giving that had participation from most of its businesses and nonprofits and was organized by the local community foundation. The “Big Give” campaign was widely shared on social media, resulting in millions raised over a 24-hour period. The campaign was also cited as a good example of how a community was able to leverage anchor institutions like libraries, universities and large corporations as part of a coordinated campaign.
  1. Long-term vision is imperative. One guest noted the importance of identifying catalytic leadership with people that have clear goals and a vision for moving cities forward. Thinking long-term, is crucial, said FUSE CEO James Weinberg. Global urbanization almost demands that cities look 50 years into the future to plan for an influx of new residents. “If we cannot make cities work, we will not have a civil society 50 years from now. It’s up to us to make it work.”
  Read more about the FUSE panel, The Challenges and Opportunities of Driving Innovative Change.

Meeting of the Minds: What They Learned