Since the late 1990's, many of Greater Philadelphia's leaders and key thinkers have focused on what has become the great challenge of cities and regions in an increasingly horizontal and globalizing economy: the attraction and retention of top college students and highly skilled young professionals.
Today, Campus Philly represents the merger of several programs launched in the past decade to maximize the connections between colleges, students, business, and our communities. This work is made possible with $1M grant from the City of Philadelphia's Department of Commerce, building off the activities of what had been known as the Knowledge Industry Partnership (KIP).
In 2003, several local public institutions began working under KIP to build a comprehensive regional economic development strategy. Each partner organization was charged with directing and implementing discreet projects that together formed a collaborative approach to student recruitment, engagement and retention. The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, in partnership with Collegia, Inc., promoted the region as "one big campus" in order to enroll more and better students from domestic and international sources; the City Commerce Department and Campus Philly worked to connect and engage enrolled students in the local community; and Innovation Philadelphia worked to employ young talent by connecting students to local internships and job opportunities. Throughout this process, The Economy League of Greater Philadelphia provided project management and policy planning leadership.
Campus Philly now has integrated KIP's various programs under central leadership with plans to expand investments in each area. Campus Philly relies upon partnerships across the region's higher education, business, government and civic leaders in carrying out its mission.
There is a lot more to learn about this great enterprise. See the Campus Philly Story