PHILADELPHIA—The City of Philadelphia today announced the 11 internal projects that will be funded by its Operations Transformation Fund (OTF) this fall. The OTF is a $10 million internal City fund, managed by the City’s Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), which will invest in transformative municipal projects over the next two fiscal years (2022 and 2023). The OTF initially received nearly 60 initial idea submissions—a clear signal that City departments are incredibly interested in improving how they deliver services to Philadelphia residents. This is the first grant cycle for the OTF. Another cycle and application period will take place in spring 2022.

“The Operations Transformation Fund was launched with a key focus in mind: reimagining City processes so we can better serve Philadelphia residents,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The pandemic forced all of us—including City government—to adapt to unprecedented circumstances and pushed us to consider how we can better our work. The goal of this fund is to prioritize efficiency and equity as we discover new ways to best serve our city and its communities.”

Together, the 11 projects are sponsored by 20 different departments and offices across the City and will create a powerful impact when implemented. OTF funding for these projects will create 19 new City jobs, including software engineers, designers, human resource professionals, community engagement specialists, project coordinators, and more. Four initiatives have budgeted a combined $50,000 to compensate residents for participating in focus groups, an advisory committee, and usability testing to inform the City’s work. Multiple projects have allocated resources specifically for document translation, non-English language, and American Sign Language translation and interpretation services for meetings. Finally, three projects focus explicitly on increasing the diversity of the City’s workforce.

Here are the 11 projects that will be funded:

  • Office of Human Resources and Human Resources and Talent: “Mobile and Neighborhood Library Civil Service Recruitment and Testing” ($676,500)
    • This project will establish a mobile unit to conduct community-based and on-site recruitment and testing for civil service examinations, including at select neighborhood libraries. This will help engage Philadelphians from areas of the city that are underrepresented in the City’s civil service workforce, and will support virtual testing.
  • Service Design Studio and Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service: “Equitable Community Engagement Toolkit” ($549,200)
    • The Equitable Community Engagement Toolkit (Toolkit) is a City-wide initiative that will transform how the City of Philadelphia thinks about, plans for, and facilitates engagement with the communities it serves. Created in collaboration with City practitioners and community members, the Toolkit will establish the conditions for the City to engage communities equitably.
  • Health and Human Services, Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility, Community Behavioral Health, and Philadelphia Department of Human Services: “Crisis Access Link Model” ($500,000)
    • The Crisis Access Link Model (CALM) will provide increased support to youth and families in need by creating greater access to mental and behavioral health services for those at risk for or involved in the child welfare system. This model will utilize and expand the City’s children’s mobile crisis services and is an outcome of the Youth Residential Placement Task Force.
  • Office of Property Assessment: “Updating Property Size Data” ($500,000)
    • This project will verify and update building square footage information contained in the Office of Property Assessment’s records and create or verify existing sketches that can be imported into its Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) system.
  • Department of Records: “Public Safety Reports Online Portal” ($450,000)
    • This project will create a public-facing online portal to deliver various public safety reports, replacing a series of processes that is currently almost entirely manual and paper-based. The digital system will include supporting backend workflows to search, process payments, and deliver these reports to the public through a simple application and payment process.
  • Office of Immigrant Affairs and Office of Innovation and Technology: “Translation Services Expansion for” ($450,000)
    • This project improves the translated content in the City’s website ( It will standardize the number of translated pages for consistency, accuracy, and availability of translations for multilingual residents.
  • Office of Innovation and Technology: “Digital Forms” ($400,000)
    • This project aims to ensure the City’s digital forms are accessible, secure, and consistent to streamline City processes and services.
  • Department of Planning and Development and Department of Licenses and Inspection: “Analyzing the Actual Costs and Potential Benefits within the Development Pipeline” ($375,000)
    • This project will explore whether the City is devoting sufficient resources to support the planning and approval processes while advancing equitable growth in Philadelphia’s communities.
  • Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability, Department of Streets, Department of Labor, and Department of Commerce: “Building Capacity for Infrastructure Project Delivery and Diverse Participation” ($318,000)
    • This project will build the capacity for the Streets Department and partners in and outside of city government to deliver capital projects and related services.
  • Office of Sustainability: “Eastwick Strategic Planning and Alignment—A Place-Based Framework” ($261,000)
    • The Office of Sustainability will develop and implement a strategic direction to enhance coordination between the 11 active City-sponsored initiatives focused on addressing environmental injustice taking place in Philadelphia’s Eastwick neighborhood. This process can then be replicated to address issues of environmental injustice across the city.
  • Office of Innovation and Technology: “OIT Apprenticeship Program” ($225,000)
    • The Office of Innovation and Technology’s (OIT) Apprenticeship Program is a career change opportunity—focused on diversity and equity—for current City employees to get higher paying roles, specifically in Software Engineering and User Experience.