STEMcityPHL is an initiative within the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Workforce Development to enhance STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) proficiency for kindergarten through 12th grade youth and encourage employment in these fields.

We do this in the following three ways:

  1. Build high-impact STEM mentoring programs that connect K-12 youth to STEM professionals
  2. Develop a STEM Program Asset Map for the Philadelphia region that allows individuals to find STEM education programs in their area. This map has allowed us to identify “STEM deserts”, or areas with a high population of youth and little to no STEM programming
  3. Bring together stakeholders in STEM education at an annual convening in partnership with the McKinney Center for STEM Education at the Philadelphia Education Fund


In 2014, national STEM mentoring initiative US2020 launched a City Competition that challenged communities to develop plans to increase the scale and quality of mentorship between professionals working in STEM and students underrepresented in the sciences. The City of Philadelphia brought together colleges and universities, corporations and businesses, and research institutions to create STEMcityPHL in response to this City Competition. Philadelphia was one of seven winning cities chosen to initiate a STEM mentoring movement in their community.

STEMcityPHL is housed within the City of Philadelphia’s Commerce Department. The Commerce Department works to make Philadelphia a globally competitive city to which employers flock, entrepreneurs thrive and innovation abounds; to recruit and retain a diverse set of businesses; to foster economic opportunities for all Philadelphians in all neighborhoods; and to partner with workforce development programs and local businesses on talent development ensuring that all Philadelphians can find and retain living-wage jobs.