The Community of Philadelphia and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia were among those honored on Thursday for programs designed to boost college enrollment and graduation in the Philadelphia region.

The "Regional Challenge" awards, handed out by Talent Greater Philly, were announced during a Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce event at the DoubleTree Suites Philadelphia West in Plymouth Meeting.

"We all know that college education is a critical issue for our region's competitiveness. The Regional Challenge Honorees are models for other businesses and institutions in our region who are also motivated to invest in an educated workforce," Deborah Diamond, president of Campus Philly, who is on Talent Greater Philly's steering committee.

Winners include:

* The Community College of Philadelphia Center for Male Engagement, which provides support coaches, "learning specialists," computer labs, study spaces and career development and social events for African American males.

* Peirce College, for its Year Up program that helps 18-24 year-olds from low incomes families earn their degrees and gain work experience.

* Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, for its program that helps employees pursue degrees with educational consulting on areas such as financial aid and scholarships.

* Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, for allowing employees' flexible work schedules and other assistance while pursuing their degrees.

* United States Liability Insurance Group (USLI), based in Wayne, for providing work experience to 130 undergrads and helping them keep college costs down.

Talent Greater Philly is a coalition of more than 20 organizations including the University of Pennsylvania, United Way and the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia. It was created in 2010 by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce's CEO Council for Growth, a leadership organization made up of CEOs from some of the area's largest employers.