Philadelphia's two city-run workforce development organizations will merge, Mayor Nutter announced Monday.
The Philadelphia Workforce Development Corp. and the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board will become Philadelphia Works Inc., with 170 employees and a $100 million annual budget, primarily from federal and state funds.
Joseph Frick, former chief executive of Independence Blue Cross and now a partner in an executive recruitment firm, will chair the board. Mark Edward, chief executive of the PWDC, will be the chief executive of the new agency.
Nutter said unemployed Philadelphians too often encountered a confusing array of services and bureaucracies and that created barriers to their ability to find jobs.
He said the new organization would create a "one door, one counter" system.
"What you want is a job," he said. "You don't want to know all the intricacies in the [Workforce Investment Act] system. You want to get in there, get training, get a job, and earn a living."
The merger was recommended in a report commissioned by the PWDC that described the city's current system as "facing structural and programmatic gaps . . . lack of comprehensive system structure, duplicative administrative systems, and unclear and/or inconsistent messages related to oversight, governance, and policy direction."
The result, the report said, was a focus "on the volume-placement of low skilled workers," and a fragmented system with agencies competing instead of cooperating, leaving "employers overwhelmed and confused."
Eric Nelson, interim chief executive of the Workforce Investment Board, will be the new organization's chief operating officer. The merger is expected to be completed by May 2012.