PHILADELPHIA, PA – October 21, 2020 – Ujima Developers, a real estate and development collaborative that promotes the economic mobility, health, and wellness of existing residents in communities, announced today the launch of their development of STEAM2IE Workspaces in West Philadelphia. This development is a community-based solution that involves an adaptive reuse of a vacant, two-story, 12,000-square-foot warehouse that will be converted into a three-story makerspace. Located at 1115 N. 38th St. in West Philadelphia, STEAM2IE Workspaces will prepare residents of Philadelphia’s East Parkside neighborhood for skilled technical jobs and STEAM entrepreneurship through skill-building programming and equipment. Ujima Developers’ strategic investment in the warehouse is part of a holistic equitable development plan that will open opportunities to jobs, economic mobility, and generational wealth-building in a neighborhood that has long been plagued by blight and vacant buildings held by out-of-town landowners. Nonprofit community development corporation partner Community Transformation Partners will lease and operate the innovative makerspace.
With support from funding partners LISC, The Fels Foundation, and the Reinvestment Fund, Ujima Developers was recently able to close on this cornerstone development and begin planning for the equitable resurgence of East Parkside, where economic mobility solutions for Black residents have been few and far between. While many initiatives in Black communities have sought to serve those in poverty, Ujima Developers intends to use the warehouse as a solution for income and small-business growth for residents. LISC executive director Andrew Frishkoff stated, “Just as intention created the racial wealth gap, it takes intention to close it. LISC is pleased to advance the work of Community Transformation Partners, creating economic opportunity and access to skills for Parkside residents and others historically disenfranchised from technology and advanced manufacturing careers.”
Changing the narrative about opportunities for Black talent in Philadelphia is critical for the city’s economic recovery. Preparing Black and Brown residents in neighborhoods with the skills to participate in the future of work — in higher-wage jobs in advanced manufacturing and technology — can lessen Philadelphia’s income disparities and, ultimately, alter the course of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. Solutions to eradicate the multiple disparities experienced by Black Philadelphians will require leadership from Black-led organizations and companies.
“STEAM2IE Workspaces is part of a holistic approach that we hope to bring to East Parkside,” stated Ujima Developers founder Dr. Leon Caldwell. “This is a ‘teach ‘em how to fish’ strategy for the future of work and technology entrepreneurship. We are convinced that STEAM2IE will be a game-changer for children, youth, and families by eliminating technology deserts in Philly.”
About Ujima Developers:
Ujima Developers, LLC is a holistic, equitable development real estate entity with offices in Philadelphia, PA, and Columbia, MD. They invest in strategies that promote economic mobility and the health and well-being of existing residents. Their purpose-driven approach is to invest in people first then place to make progress toward building sustainable, healthy neighborhoods.
For more information, visit http://www.ujimadevelopers.com.
Company Name: Ujima Developers
Contact Person: Dr. Leon Caldwell
Email: Send Email
Address:6470 Dobbin Road, Suite B
Country: United States