Cell and gene therapy companies looking to attract talent to the Greater Philadelphia region have a new set of accolades from national publications to tout as they communicate the region’s excellent quality of life to prospective employees.

TIME magazine named Philadelphia in its “World’s Greatest Places of 2021” in an article published on July 20, 2021, proclaiming its artistic growth and culinary scene. “A city best known for its storied past,” pens Regan Stephens, “Philadelphia is writing a new chapter this year. The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s elegant Greek Revival façade has remained largely the same since it first opened in 1928, but the interior now offers visitors a fresh perspective with a Frank Gehry-led redesign unveiled in May. The space now includes access to a previously off-limits vaulted walkway and a stunning floating staircase to rival the iconic steps out front, made famous by Rocky.” The article goes on to state, “The local culinary scene is as vibrant as ever too, with chef Omar Tate crowdfunding the forthcoming Honeysuckle Community Center in West Philadelphia, sprouted from his award-winning dinner series of the same name that centers on Black culture and history.”

In an October 15, 2021 article titled, “The 20 Most Livable Towns and Cities in America,” Outside magazine included Philadelphia on a list of 13 of 2021’s Best Towns. “The quantity of space devoted to parks and recreation is impressive. Not only was the city designed to draw residents outdoors as far back as the 17th century, but it continues to build on that legacy,” editors wrote. Philadelphia’s 2,050-acre Fairmount Park is also described as a “conservation triumph, established in the 1800s to protect the city’s primary water source. It’s composed of hardwood forest, serpentine creeks, and more than 50 miles of trails.” The article also quoted a Trust for Public Land statistic that states 95 percent of residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park. “In 2020, visits to those spaces spiked more than 50%, and it isn’t slowing down. Nor is investment in the city’s future as an outdoor hub,” the article continues. “More than 40 community organizations are working to complete the Circuit Trails, a sprawling multi-use system stretching from downtown Philadelphia into surrounding counties that’s now more than 350 miles long, and will be 800 miles when it’s finished.”

The Wall Street Journal looked to four famous Philadelphians – actor Rob McElhenny, academician Adam Grant, playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes, and restaurateur Stephen Starr – for its October 21, 2021 travel piece, “An Insider’s Travel Guide to Philadelphia – Courtesy of an ‘It’s Always Sunny’ Star and Other Notable Locals,” by author Janet O’Grady. “This historic heavyweight of a city is a booming cultural and culinary destination, too,” it proclaims and recommends, “For good food as well as other diversions, visit neighborhoods like Fishtown and Northern Liberties where a young, hipster vibe is emerging.” McElhenny (co-creator and actor of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’) suggests a walk on the Schuylkill River Trail, the armor section at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Parc Brasserie on Rittenhouse Square, and music at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts.  From Hudes (Pulitzer Prize winner; co-wrote the musical ‘In the Heights’), readers learn about Chinatown restaurant David’s Mai Lai Wah, Garland of Letters Bookstore, nonprofit Taller Puertorriqueño as a place for art and one-of-a-kind crafts, and Material Culture for antiques.

Talent working in Greater Philadelphia’s cell and gene therapy hub are sharing their own regional recommendations in a new video series, “Discovery Starts With Me,” created in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, the Life Science Talent Pipeline Collaborative, and the Cell & Gene Therapy and Connected Health Initiative. The vibrant art community, world-renowned restaurant scene, and outdoor recreation activities are just some of the characteristics contributing to the region’s great quality of life. In the video series, which is being shared on LinkedIn and the Select Greater Philadelphia’s website, you can hear in their own words why these talent ambassadors love living and working in Greater Philadelphia.

The Life Science Talent Pipeline Collaborative is employer-led, with actions guided by employers and for employers. The Chamber serves as convener of the group, which includes 18 organizations representing cell and gene therapy companies and specific academic research labs in the cell and gene therapy space. To date, partners include Adaptimmune; AmerisourceBergen; Amicus Therapeutics; Cabaletta Bio; Carisma Therapeutics Inc.; Center for Breakthrough Medicines; Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Integral Molecular; Iovance Biotherapeutics Inc.; Johnson & Johnson; Merck & Company, Inc.; Passage Bio; Rockland Immunochemicals; Spark Therapeutics, Inc.; Spirovant; SwanBio Therapeutics; University of Pennsylvania Gene Therapy Program; and WuXi Advanced Therapies. New members are welcome. Contact Michele Washko at [email protected].

The Greater Philadelphia Cell & Gene Therapy and Connected Health Initiative is strengthening the region’s innovation economy through efforts including shared storytelling that builds awareness of the region’s assets, providing resources to start-up and scaling companies, assessing the talent needs of the sectors, and supporting the development of critical infrastructure for the sectors’ growth. The Initiative is supported by 11 partner companies, institutions, and universities in the Greater Philadelphia region. Partner companies include AmerisourceBergen, Aramark, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, ChristianaCare, Comcast, Drexel University, Independence Blue Cross, Jefferson Health, Macquarie Group, Penn Medicine, and the University of Pennsylvania. For more information, visit http://www.ceocouncilforgrowth.com.