University City District Blog

WPSI participants in a classroom
May 24, 2023 6 months ago

Bank of America Continues Support of WPSI

We are deeply grateful to Bank of America for their recent $50,000 grant for our West Philadelphia Skills Initiative.

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A woman sings in front of a crowd with the caption Summer in University City
May 18, 2023 6 months ago

Summer Events in University City!

Each summer University City District partners with local businesses, restaurants, organizations, and performers to present a robust schedule of free and fun events throughout University City. Make sure to mark your calendars with these dates and details so you don't miss our exciting programming for Summer 2023!

Want even more events? Make sure to visit our Community Calendar

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Photos of Caitlyn Shauger and Jazzmin Prosper
May 09, 2023 6 months ago

UCD Welcomes New Homeless Outreach Services Manager and Manager of Continuing Development for WPSI

We're excited to share that we have welcomed two new members to our UCD staff. Caitlyn Shauger (pictured above, left) is our new Homeless Outreach Services Manager, working with our District Services team to provide services to unhoused individuals. Jazzmin Prosper (above, right) will serve as the new Manager of Continuing Development for our West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, where she'll manage our Pathway to Promotion and WPSI Scholars programs, and read more about them below.

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The cover for the 2023 State of University City publication
Apr 27, 2023 7 months ago

The State of University City 2023

On Wednesday, April 26th, University City District held our annual State of University City event. We were joined by key partners and stakeholders for a celebration of 25 years of University City District as we released our new State of University City 2023 publication.

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Pop-Ups at The Portal header image
Apr 24, 2023 7 months ago

6 weeks of free all-ages interactive music at Trolley Portal Gardens

Join University City District and Gretchen Elise for Pop-Ups at The Portal - Thursdays, May 11 through June 15th (5PM to 7PM)! 6 weeks of *FREE* all-ages interactive music at Trolley Portal Gardens (40th and Baltimore)

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WPSI Staff and Supporters Celebrate the Cutting of the Ribbon for the New WPSI Headquarters
Mar 27, 2023 8 months ago

Cutting the Ribbon on New West Philadelphia Skills Initiative Headquarters

The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI), our pioneering workforce intermediary that has connected Philadelphians to career-ladder positions with major employers since its formation in 2011, has cut the ribbon on a new headquarters at 22 S. 40th Street in West Philadelphia. Members of our UCD and WPSI staff were joined by 3rd District Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, State Senator Vincent Hughes, Penn SEVP Craig Carnaroli, and WPSI alumni and friends during a celebratory event on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023.

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A neighbor joining a community clean-up
Mar 22, 2023 8 months ago

Spring Clean-up! Join UCD and the City of Philadelphia for a Community Clean-up on April 1st, 2023

Throughout the year, UCD organizes multiple volunteer cleaning efforts. Our next community clean-up will be held on Saturday, April 1st, 2023, in coordination with the citywide Philly Spring Cleanup. Help keep your neighborhood clean by tidying up your streets from 9 AM to 2 PM.

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Coffee and injera from Alif
Feb 22, 2023 9 months ago

Major Accolades for Three Local Restaurants

Our dining scene in University City is known for its unique and diverse options. We have food options from around the world, including many restaurants run by operators who bring unique flavors and cultural traditions to the dishes they serve. Recently, three local businesses earned major accolades from the media.



Alif Lands on Food & Wine's List of Top Philadelphia Lunch Spots 


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UCD's 2021 Annual Review over a shot of Safety Ambassadors biking
Feb 08, 2023 9 months ago

University City District's 2022 Annual Review

Each year, we at University City District invest in the vitality of our neighborhood. We foster clean, safe, and active streets; we cultivate civic infrastructure and activate dormant public spaces through placemaking efforts; we plan and execute signature local events; and we create an opportunity infrastructure that connects talented Philadelphians to life-altering careers at major employers.

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Headshots of Vincent Better (left) and Erica Jorden (right)
Jan 18, 2023 10 months ago

UCD Announces Two New Staff Members to Further Mission of Changing Places and Changing Lives

Today, we are excited to share news of two new hires to our University City District staff. Please join us in welcoming Vincent Better, our new Vice President of Strategic Advancement, and Erica Jorden, our new Director of Human Resources. Both positions are new roles at UCD that will further our mission to change places and change lives.

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Honorees from our 2022 WPSI Ten Year Anniversary
Jan 09, 2023 10 months ago

Support from Hummingbird Foundation Helps Skills Initiative Launch WPSI University to Further Advance Alumni

This week, the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) is thrilled to announce the launch of WPSI University, our new program to offer continued workplace education and academic advancement for our graduates, equipping them with the tools and credentials they need to advance in the 21st-century workplace. This new enterprise is supported by a generous $150,000 grant from the Hummingbird Foundation, a New Jersey-based charitable organization.

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Snowflake pattern
Dec 13, 2022 11 months ago

Your 2022 Guide to the Holidays in University City

West Philadelphia is getting festive during this holiday season, with unique performances, ongoing deals at local small businesses and restaurants, and plenty of opportunities to shop from local vendors. Click to learn more!

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Clark Park's "B" Park
Dec 12, 2022 11 months ago

Help Shape a Renewal of Clark Park!

Clark Park, the 9-acre oasis located between 43rd and 45th Streets and Baltimore and Woodland Avenue in West Philadelphia, is due for a refreshment, and the Friends of Clark Park want your input! The Friends of Clark Park have hired Philadelphia-based landscape architecture firm Studio Bryan Hanes to help develop a 2024 Master Plan for Clark Park’s “B Park,” the portion of Clark Park south of Chester Avenue that contains the bowl, playground, basketball courts, and more.

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A WPSI cohort celebrates graduation
Oct 10, 2022 13 months ago

Citizens Bank Continues Support of the Skills Initiative with $60,000 Contribution

We are sharing our gratitude in announcing that Citizens Bank has awarded us another $60,000 grant to support our nationally-recognized job training program, the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI). This generous contribution pushes the total support offered by the Citizens Charitable Foundation to the Skills Initiative to over $550,000 since our program's inception.

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Ryan Spak surveying the Ethiopian Community Building
Oct 10, 2022 13 months ago

Ethiopian Community Association Awards Ryan Spak with Neighborhood Champion Award

On Saturday, October 8th, Ryan Spak (pictured right, next to Councilwoman Gauthier) was presented with a Neighborhood Champion Award from the Ethiopian Community Association of Greater Philadelphia during their grand "re-opening" event.

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WPSI graduates on stage receiving awards
Sep 29, 2022 14 months ago

Celebrating Ten Years of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative

On Wednesday, September 28th, 2022, hundreds of West Philadelphia Skills Initiative alumni, partners, and friends gathered at World Cafe Live to celebrate ten years of our nationally-recognized job training program. The event featured remarks from key partners, awards for notable Skills Initiative alumni, and catching up with friends and former staff. 

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Cait Garozzo (center) listens to WPSI participants during a graduation ceremony
Sep 27, 2022 14 months ago

Caitlin Garozzo Named Executive Director of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative

We’re pleased to announce that Caitlin Garozzo has been promoted to Executive Director of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative. Cait is a proven leader who brings a deep commitment to identifying and creating opportunities that promote equity, support growth, and provide meaningful solutions for employers and WPSI participants.

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An image of University City during a vibrant sunset
Sep 12, 2022 14 months ago

UCD Hiring for Two New Leadership Positions

University City District is hiring for two new leadership positions to advance our work of investing in place and investing in people in one of the most economically dynamic communities in the country. We are seeking a Vice-President of Strategic Advancement and a Human Resources Director to join our dynamic team. Read more about each position below, and please share with your networks to help us find top candidates. We are proud to partner with DiverseForce on this search. 


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A graphic depicting food trucks at The Porch
Aug 30, 2022 15 months ago

September 2022 Food Trucks and Activations at The Porch at 30th Street

The Porch at 30th Street is alive with performances, pop-ups, and of course, food trucks! We're excited to share details on August food trucks, pop-ups, and performances below. We hope to see you at The Porch!  



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A graphic reading "Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll" over a photo of people enjoying the festival
Aug 29, 2022 15 months ago

The Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll Returns Thursday, September 15th 2022

On Thursday, September 15th, West Philadelphia’s Baltimore Avenue will transform into a shopper’s dream during the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll. From 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM, visitors are invited to stroll up and down Baltimore Avenue between 40th and 51st Streets for one-night-only $1, $3, and $5 deals on food, drinks, merchandise, and more from local businesses and neighborhood vendors.

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