PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s new workforce development initiative got a warm reception at the Chamber of Commerce’s annual luncheon, Tuesday. City employers seemed to welcome the soon-to-be-launched Office of Workforce Development.

The mayor’s calling the initiative “Fueling Philadelphia’s Talent Engine.” It’s an effort to get residents the skills they need to fill the jobs employers have.

“I’ve always thought it tragic that businesses in the city struggle to find the skilled employees they need to grow and prosper while there’s tremendous untapped potential sitting on the sidelines,” said Jim Kenney.

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The multi-pronged strategy relies on partnerships with the school district, local colleges, non-profits and the business community, represented by many of the Chamber members at the lunch.

Business owner Jovan Goldstein liked the plan’s inclusiveness.

“A strategic initiative to make sure that everybody has gainful employment, I think, is going to be key,” Goldstein said.

Daniel Templar says he thinks businesses will heed the mayor’s call to sign on.

“Given the fact that the employers are looking for the talent base to draw from for their hires, I think the whole community needs to come together and really embrace the mayor’s initiatives,” Templar said.

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