City Controller Alan Butkovitz announced a plan Wednesday to revitalize manufacturing in Philadelphia.
If the top five Eds and Meds anchor institutions were to increase their purchase of local goods by 25 percent, it could result in 1,250 new manufacturing jobs, Butkovitz said. He announced his proposal at the Global Dye Works building in the Northeast, which serves as an incubator for various small manufacturers.
The controller's analysis found that Eds and Meds currently spend about $860 million a year in manufacturing goods. But only $136 million, or 16 percent of total purchases, is spent on locally made products.
"Local purchasing and anchor procurement are buzz phrases these days," Butkovitz said. "Many communities are looking at ways to enhance their local economies by harnessing demand from already existing large institutions like universities and hospitals."
Several anchor institutions— Drexel University, Jefferson Hospital and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia – had representatives at the Wednesday press conference in support of the effort. But none have yet made any new commitments to purchasing from specific local vendors.
"We're not at the stage yet. Right now we are identifying potential manufacturers who can fill the needs," Butkovitz said.
The controller's plan stems from a 2014 report by his office that looked at how much major institutions spend on goods and services. Butkovitz's office then analyzed what items the top five anchor institutions – Drexel, Jefferson, CHOP, University of Pennsylvania and Temple University—buy and whether those items are made by a Philadelphia-based manufacturer.
If the Eds and Meds were to commit to Butkovitz's goal of purchasing 25 percent more of what they currently buy locally, his office estimates a direct economic impact of $107 million. Read the report HERE.