In an effort to attract more international business to Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney will hire a man or woman whose sole job will be showcasing the city to the business world.
Crediting Councilman David Oh for promoting Philadelphia globally, Kenney announce during his budget address Thursday that the city would soon be hiring a Director of International Investment, “who will build on the councilman’s efforts, increasing export activity and attracting new businesses to locate in Philadelphia."
Asked specifics of what the job would entail, Kenney’s people said they were in the final stages of the hiring process.
“The position will be working with small-to-medium-sized businesses to help them learn how and what their opportunities are to export their services abroad, so they can have more business opportunities,” said Sylvie Gallier Howard, chief of staff to the director of the city’s commerce department.
Gallier Howard said that the position was held once before under Mayor Michael Nutter's adminisrtaion, and that the job paid somewhere in the $80,000-range.
Oh said there was not a lot of Council effort on recruiting international business to Philadelphia prior to his arrival to City Hall in 2012.
“It’s part of trying to provide more opportunities to Philadelphia by expanding our ceiling by going global,” said Oh, who named the manufacturing of helicopters in northeast Philly and trains in southeast Philly as examples of expansion.
“There are a lot of jobs for Philadelphia related to the world economy…Mayor Kenney is approaching Philadelphia’s involvement in the global economy in a very thoughtful and serious manner," said Oh. "He seems to have talked to his advisors and to the people in the commerce department and I understand they have reached out to different business folks and have discussed seriously having an office individual who will devote themselves to trying to compete for overseas dollars and overseas opportunities to benefit Philadelphians.”