By Camden Community Partnership, February 6, 2024

CAMDEN, NJ – The City of Camden recently launched its participation in the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s fourth Reinventing Our Communities (ROC) Cohort Program. The Camden Cohort is developing a multiyear plan to expand economic opportunities for City residents. Participation in the ROC builds upon the ongoing efforts of the Camden Works and Camden Loop initiatives, spearheaded by Camden Community Partnership.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, our Camden Cohort Team, and the 10 other cohort participants from across the country as we work together to combat serious equity disparities in the workforce,” said Camden Community Partnership President and CEO Dana L. Redd. “During this last decade, Camden has experienced an economic boom with potential jobs for City residents. However, job readiness and transportation needs remain barriers this cohort seeks to further examine and identify solutions.”

The Camden Cohort is comprised of Co-Lead representatives from Camden Community Partnership and Rutgers University-Camden, as well as representatives from the Mayor’s Office, Center for Family Services, and Hopeworks. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is partnering with Equitable Cities Consulting and Race Forward throughout the 14-month program to help the Camden Cohort:

  • address the structural barriers that limit the full potential of workers and communities of color,
  • ensure that workforce development programs lead to jobs that pay living wages and support economic mobility,
  • partner with local employers to support workforce development strategies, and
  • learn best practices for attracting and retaining talent to foster inclusive economic growth in rural and small urban areas.

“An important aspect of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s work is to maintain full employment,” said Theresa Singleton, senior vice president of the Community Development and Regional Outreach Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. “The cohort program supports the Fed’s work by helping local communities realize the full potential of their talent pipeline and provide investments and innovation that support workers.”

“Being able to participate in this national program to share and exchange ideas on such a critical issue speaks volumes regarding the work we have been doing here in Camden,” said Mayor Victor G. Carstarphen. “I thank the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia for recognizing the importance of ensuring residents are part of the workforce development equation when dealing with new and expanding businesses in their hometowns.”

“As a leading institution of higher learning and an anchor institution in the city of Camden, Rutgers University-Camden is proud to co-lead this effort,” said Rutgers-Camden Senior Vice Chancellor Nyeema Watson. “The opportunity to work with cohort members from across the country who have various experiences in equity and workforce development is exciting. I am positive that our Camden team will gain insightful information to help bring systematic and sustainable change on how we better assist our local workforce.”

For the next 14 months, the Camden Cohort will also be engaging in workforce development webinars, coaching from national workforce leaders, racial equity training, and peer learning with the 10 other participating communities from across the country.

“Having the opportunity to participate in this initiative will not only expand our collective knowledgebase but also provide a peer exchange experience to strengthen the workforce development partnerships and system of social supports for Camden residents,” said Merilee Rutolo, President and Chief Strategy Officer at Center for Family Services.

“The ROC’s desired outcome to build a more inclusive workforce complements our mission to ensure residents, particularly our young adults, are connected to life-changing careers that transform their lives and the lives of their families,” said Hopeworks CEO Dan Rhoton. “Hopeworks is honored to be a part of this critical and transformational work.

“Cooper University Health Care takes great pride in not only providing top quality health care to Camden residents but also offering them career opportunities right in their own backyard,” Chairman of Cooper University Health Care and a board member of Camden Community Partnership, George E. Norcross III. “We look forward to hearing the new ideas that will emerge from this important collaboration which will significantly boost the ongoing efforts of the Camden Works initiative.”

“For 40 years, Camden Community Partnership has worked on behalf of the City to facilitate economic development, restore its neighborhoods, and improve the lives of Camden residents,” said Mark McDonough, Co-Chair of Camden Community Partnership and President of New Jersey American Water. “Taking part in a vital initiative such as the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Reinventing Our Communities program allows participants to learn from one another so that we may be better prepared to solve new challenges that arise.”

“It is essential that local business leaders continually explore ways to attract, hire and retain Camden residents for jobs within our community,” said Lara Price, Vice-Chair of Camden Community Partnership and COO of the Philadelphia 76ers. “While we are encouraged by the positive growth we’ve seen in these areas thus far through the Camden Works and Camden Loop initiatives, there is more work to be done. We believe that the Camden Cohort will gain valuable insight from the ROC program to help all of us in the Camden business community achieve our goal of creating a more sustainable and equitable workforce.”

For more information about the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s 2024 ROC Cohort program, please visit

About Camden Community Partnership:

Camden Community Partnership (CCP) is facilitating the revival of the City of Camden by creating an environment where people choose to live, work, and invest. CCP develops visionary, long-range plans for the redevelopment of Camden’s waterfronts and works with private sector, government, and community partners to make these plans a reality. For more information, please visit or follow CCP on Facebook and Twitter.