Strengthening Philadelphia’s Economy Through Partnerships

At a recent event hosted by our Impact Partner, Clarifi, two women spoke about their experiences before they went through the organization’s financial bootcamp. What struck Patty Hasson, Executive Director at Clarifi, upon hearing these stories was that both women talked about how getting out of credit card debt and starting a business would help their children. By becoming financially stable, these women knew their children would benefit from their success and have a better chance of making their own dreams a reality one day.

Last month as part of our 2017-18 Leaders Lead Speaker Series, Patty Hasson joined Patrick T. Harker, President and Chief Executive Officer at the Philadelphia Federal Reserve, to share key insights and perspectives on “The Economy: A Conversation.” Hasson and Harker discussed the economic well-being of our region and how partnerships are making a difference in the lives of people like the women who went through Clarifi’s financial bootcamp.

At United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ), we are working with our partners every day to make sure more youth are connected to school or work and that more families are on the path to economic self-sufficiency. Partnering with, and learning from, organizations like Clarifi and the Philadelphia Fed are so important as we work together to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty that holds back too many people in our region from reaching their full potential.

Hasson and Harker pointed to a few examples of partnership that are already making a difference:

  • Harker observed that a strong economy sits on a “three-legged stool” – job creation, workforce development and infrastructure. Through programs like the Economic Growth and Mobility Project, the Philadelphia Fed uses its valuable economic research to foster partnerships among public, private and philanthropic stakeholders to achieve long-term economic improvements in these critical areas.
  • Hasson pointed out how the Philadelphia Fed’s research supports programs like the Family Self-Sufficiency program and Clarifi’s own financial counseling services by showing counselors where the jobs are and what skills are needed for success.
  • The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), supported by UWGPSNJ, provides free tax preparation services to eligible families throughout the region, connecting them to tax credits they’ve earned. Through this process, VITA volunteers can also work with their clients to help bring down their debt.

As we work together to create scalable and smart solutions to our region’s most pressing challenges, we are inspired by the leadership, grit and determination of all of our supporters, volunteers and partners across sectors. While there is certainly much more to do, we are proud of the existing partnerships that make this work possible today and will sustain our work toward shared economic prosperity going forward. To join us and learn more about Leadership Giving and the Leaders Lead Speaker Series, contact Noelle Saracino at nsaracino@uwgpsnj.org or 215-665-2554.

A special thank you to Deloitte for supporting our Leaders Lead Speaker Series.

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