In the 2014 movie "Lucy," Scarlett Johansen’s character gets injected with a drug that enhances her mental capabilities to their full capacity, rendering her able to escape her captors, ignore physical discomforts and travel mentally through time. It is based on the premise that humans utilize only 10 percent of their brain capacity, leaving 90 percent untapped.
While the myth that humans only use 10 percent of their brain capabilities has long been debunked, it is interesting to think about other entities that might not be using 100 percent of their full potential – and what could happen if they did.
To that point, Philadelphia has a wealth of untapped human capital. Returning citizens, immigrants and the TANF (temporary assistance for needy families) community are populations that are largely underutilized in Philadelphia’s businesses.
The Chamber’s Roadmap for Growth Action Team, in its effort to promote economic growth and job creation in Philadelphia, encourages access for all populations, intent on proving that recruiting from nontraditional populations makes good business sense.
Over the past year, the Roadmap for Growth Action Team has gone deep into Philadelphia’s neighborhoods to have conversations on immigrant entrepreneurship as a driver of economic growth, scaling successful neighborhood development projects, and the promise that STEM jobs, including those that do not require degrees, have to quickly lift people out of poverty.
On October 31, Roadmap will host a half-day conference where business leaders will have the opportunity to learn how their peers are engaging nontraditional workers in order to strengthen both their business and their community.
At this conference, called With Growth & Prosperity for All, Philadelphia businesses can learn about best practices in how to hire, train and retain professionals from this talent pool, including discussions on engaging the untapped communities of the city. These discussions will feature leaders, including Emily Bittenbender of Bittenbender Construction, Patrick Clancy of Philadelphia Works and many more who are in the business of diversifying and expanding access to opportunity.
This event will work toward the goal of not only providing jobs for underserved populations but will also serve as an opportunity for the business community to operate at its full potential.
To learn more about the event, visit the Chamber’s website.
If you want to get involved in the Roadmap for Growth Action Team, don’t hesitate to contact me at rwonderling@chamberPHL.com.
It is our duty as citizens and leaders of this city to provide growth and prosperity for all.