Workforce Development

Developing a strategic workforce development model



Our workforce development program seeks to connect local residents to jobs at science and tech companies in University City and beyond.


The Science Center is committed to developing a strategic workforce development model that fits the needs of companies, strengthens the STEM talent pipeline, and benefits the community around us.


Over the past year the Science Center has supported the creation of 139 new jobs through our commercialization programs. We want to build on this momentum and develop more pathways for Philadelphians to connect to jobs in 21st century fields like biopharma, cell and gene therapy, and digital health. 


How we’re doing it


We’re building relationships with:

  • uCity Square-based companies that best represent STEM industries
  • West Philadelphia residents that have a high school diploma, some certification, some college, or an associate’s degree


We’re assessing the landscape:

  • We’re building partnerships with expert training providers at the University City District (UCD) and, together with our company partners, we’re designing a job training model to enable employment within these growing industries.


Apprenticeships and training models are a proven combination for the creation of job opportunities without obtaining a 4-year degree.


Traditionally, apprenticeships and training models focus on trade skills and encompass manufacturing, automotive, hospitality, and information technology. The Science Center is developing more opportunities for Philadelphia residents to attain wage-sustaining careers in high-growth STEM industries. 

At the Science Center, we’re trying to figure out how to help pre-college students find a potential passion in science and technology, and work with those who don’t have a college degree find ways into our innovation economy. One STEM education program brings middle and high school students to our facility to supplement their classroom work in the areas of science and technology. Another program, in partnership with Drexel University and the University City District, focuses on matching employment opportunities in our science and technology communities with our local workforce in West Philadelphia and University City.

our partners


The Lenfest Foundation

Committed to finding solutions now for a life-changing impact for generations to come. Too many Philadelphia youth are not exposed to the limitless career possibilities they deserve due to circumstances beyond their control. At the Lenfest Foundation, our grant-making is focused on making sure that young people in Philadelphia gain the education, knowledge, skills and opportunities that lead to a fulfilling, productive life in adulthood.


University City District/ West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (UCD/WPSI)
University City District was founded in 1997 by a partnership of world-renowned anchor institutions, small businesses and residents to improve economic vitality and quality of life in the University City area of Philadelphia. The primary mission is community revitalization. UCD works within a place-based, data-driven framework to invest in world-class public spaces, address crime and public safety, bring life to commercial corridors, connect low-income residents to careers, and promote job growth and innovation.


The Dornsife Center, Drexel University

The Dornsife Center connects residents to a range of services – both in-house and with other community agencies – that can increase their likelihood of success in any job training program. The Center provides access to adult basic education, high school diplomas, college-credit bearing courses, and training for entry-level jobs in fields like childcare and community health, and has helped connect over 200 residents to full-time employment with Drexel, third party vendors, and non-profit partners throughout the city


BULB: Building anD Understanding of Lab Basics

Introducing BULB: Building an Understanding of Lab Basics


This NO COST two-week virtual training in the STEM field will allow you to gain skills sought after by local science and tech employers.


The current BULB cohort runs from November 9 - 20th. 


  • Gain skills desired by science and tech
    employers and make your career future proof
  • Earn a stipend while learning 21st Century workforce skills
  • Increase professional connections with science and tech companies
  • Acquire skills and access to family-sustaining career opportunities


  • A stipend
  • A laptop upon completion
  • A lab kit from eCLOSE for hands-on
  • STEM professional career mentor
    Connections to employers
    looking for talent in STEM fields
  • Access to the LabXchange
    platform beyond the program


  • Philadelphia resident
  • High school diploma or GED
  • An interest in science, technology, engineering and/or math (STEM) field
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Access to a computer and internet connection
  • Basic computer skills including knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint

Curriculum designed by the Science Center and eClose Institute. 


This program is supported by the Lenfest Foundation and in partnership with University City District and eCLOSE Institute