Statements of Purpose

Mission:

  • KCX Foundation will act as a collaborative partner in the revitalization and prosperity of the Delaware Valley region at large and with the state of Delaware and the Fairhill neighborhood community in Philadelphia specifically. We do this through educational partnerships devoted to sustainability, STEM, greening, and community engagement events.

 

Vision Statement:

  • The KCX Foundation is a business-community-government partnership throughout the Delaware Valley area. We use a broad definition of sustainability to address critical issues affecting the region including education - specifically STEM fields - community development, workforce readiness, etc. to achieve a brighter future for all.  

The vision of the foundation is to promote sustainability into evermore commonplace and commonsense considerations of all aspects within the natural value chain. We approach the concept of sustainability as a means of configuring human activity so that society, its members and its economies are able to meet their needs and express their greatest potential in the present, while preserving and developing such potential for those yet to come. 

 

The Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposal requests or applications for any of its programming. We thank you for your understanding.

We are happy to answer any questions or send any additional information including annual reports upon request. Please reach out to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Narrative: Problem and Solution

The Need: 

While these goals are just as relatable to other communities, as indeed so is the entire world,  it is with humble understands that we return to the oft used yet remarkably apt adage of thinking globally while acting locally as we approach, influence and engage in the needs and future impact of services for the Delaware Valley. 

  • For 19133: As recently as 2020, the Crossroads Community Center, a faith-based nonprofit based in 19133 states that:
    • The Fairhill 19133 Zip Code is the poorest in Philadelphia
    • The poverty rate is 61%
    • Median household income is $14,185 = monthly income under $1,200
    • Average monthly rent $800.
    • Industrial jobs in Fairhill moved to developing countries in the 1950’s.
    • The local economy collapsed, and Fairhill became known as an active drug trafficking center.
    • It was called “The Badlands” in a 1994 novel, Third and Indiana, and in a Ted Koppel 2007 Nightline special.
    • Over 80% of the population is Hispanic, largely Puerto Rican.
  •  While 19133 has improved over the years, The Pew Charitable Trust’s annual research on “The State of the City” for Philadelphia still lists 19133 as the poorest zip code in the county and city of Philadelphia for 2023. 

For STEM: 

  • As recently as 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows employment in STEM occupations across the country has grown 79 percent in the past three decades. Additionally, STEM jobs are projected to grow an additional 11 percent from 2020 to 2030. Increasingly, either as a means for economic prosperity for underserved communities or simply as a means to keep up with the growing demand and expectations of employers for prospective employees to have STEM skills, both those in highest need and the general populace will need to have ever-greater familiarity with STEM and STEM futures.
  • A recent report from the American Institutes for Research from December, 2023 notes that the state of Delaware’s education funding is ‘not adequate’ and needs an additional $500 million to $1 billion annually. The report goes on to compare scores in math and reading from the National Assessment of Educational Progress between 2002 and 2022 across neighboring Delaware Valley states. Although in the early 2000s, Delaware performed comparably in Math and reading at both the fourth- and eighth-grade levels to states like PA, VA, MD and NJ, from the early 2010s onward, “Delaware has typically performed below the set of comparison states. Performance in all of the comparison states has trended downward since around 2013. Importantly, during this time the difference in performance between Delaware and several of the higher-performing comparison states has widened. Delaware has shown larger declines in performance over the past decade.”
  • The Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia on its website notes that “across Philadelphia, only 25% of public school students enroll in college. Of those who do enroll, only 10% earn a degree.” they go on to state that only “16% of Philadelphia’s 4th graders are proficient in math 8% of Philadelphia’s 4th graders are proficient in science”.
  • According to The Camden Community Center based in Southern New Jersey, Camden is the 8th largest city in New Jersey, and has a 33.6% poverty rate. “32% have no high school diplomas, and 13% of children under the age of 18 are food insecure, in Camden County.” Their solution to these issues is consistent with the aims of the KCX Foundation. By providing STEM education to students of all ages and preparing them to enter the fast-paced workspace of both today and the future. 

For Sustainability: 

  • The World Economic Forum posted an article in April of 2023 on why sustainability must become an integral part of STEM education globally to deal with pressing issues for the sustainability of the global ecosystem. According to Marcus Culverwell, Headteacher at Reigate St Mary’s primary school in the UK, “The truth is the 21st century is going to be a really challenging time for the rising generations. So it's imperative that we equip them with a knowledge of the issues and the skills to deal with problems caused by climate change, such as food security and water scarcity. We need to see STEM For Sustainability integrated into our curriculums just as thoroughly as English and maths are and we need to see that in every school across the country” and around the world. The Smithsonian Science Education Center based in Washington DC echoes this sentiment, stating that the only “foundation for truly sustainable development is through education, and specifically through educating youth in STEM subjects.”  

The Opportunity:

  • Sustainability in STEM or Sustainability and STEM (SSTEM) in the Delaware Valley has, for decades, had a bright future and been part of the solution out of many of the Delaware Valley’s pressing challenges. However the opportunity for that future has never been as bright as it is today. Indeed, perhaps counterintuitive, the challenges listed above for the Delaware Valley region may  also be its avenue for future success. 1. the traditional infrastructure, which despite its age is still enviable compared to most American cities. For example, 30th Street Station is the “third busiest station in the Amtrak system with ridership of more than four million every year”. The public infrastructure within the city of Philadelphia is enviable as well. As of 2022, Philadelphia ranks 6th in the USA by population. SEPTA ridership in the city similarly ranks 6th in the nation. However if we look at the total number of stations for public transit Philadelphia has compared to the largest cities, Philly ranks 3rd in the country with only New York and Chicago having more stations and corresponding ridership. 2. the city’s knowledge economy base. According to CampusPhilly a Philly based non-profit that focuses on college graduates staying in the area after college, “Over the last two decades, the retention rate of college graduates in the region has soared to an impressive 50%. Philadelphia boasts an extraordinary 155% growth rate in the number of bachelor’s degree-holders aged 25 to 34, surpassing every major city. Further, 51% of all 25-to-34-year-olds in Philadelphia now hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.” 3. Ironically, being the poorest big city in the USA also means that Philly is nimble and adaptable in a way few other big cities in the USA are. In true Philly fashion, efforts toward SSTEM made some of its most notable strides in sports. “In June 2018, the Eagles became the first professional sports team to achieve ISO 20121 certification, which is an international standard designed to help organizations in the events and hospitality industry integrate sustainability into management practices and processes.” While the Philadelphia Eagles stadium achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver status back in 2013 the upgrade of the stadium to gold and the ISO certificate in 2018 are both reminders of both the changing nature and importance of SSTEM across the country even in traditional blue-collar towns that might not think of themselves as bastions for sustainability, math or science.  
  • While conversations and efforts to enhance the latent and perhaps underutilized resources of the Delaware Valley have a long and storied past, one of the motivations for forming this organization now is the culmination of factors that see the need for SSTEM in the Delaware Valley growing to a tipping point sooner rather than later. While it is hard to say how fast this change is coming, certainly the COVID crisis changed much for the greater Delaware Valley area but despite the trend of moving out of urban areas during those crisis years, the Delaware Valley has only experienced an increase in population. Indeed, the population of the metro area of Philadelphia has only seen positive year over year growth in population since at least the 1950’s. Add to that the aforementioned existing resources of the Philadelphia area in terms of infrastructure, connectivity, and the knowledge economy and the recent 2023 announcement of the planned opening of the Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub (MACH2) and the writings of a new and expansive chapter for the Delaware Valley all but writes itself.

The Unique Opportunity in the Delaware Valley:

  • MACH2 and its corresponding development are far from complete let alone producing the Hydrogen this investment is planned to create but the project is expected to introduce $750 million in funding into the Delaware Valley from the Hydrogen Hubs program to support the development of a clean hydrogen hub–a network of hydrogen producers, consumers, and local connective infrastructure–in Delaware, Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey.  According to the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, The MACH2 project will “create and retain more than 20,000 well-paying jobs through re-training, up-skilling and talent pipeline building, and provide economic opportunities as well as health improvements that will directly benefit historically underserved communities.” Even if the full impact of these projects is less than advertised, this investment could well be the impetus for change that the Delaware Valley has been needing for decades and a change that even in a muted form is something that we hope to capitalize on and harness for generations to come. 

Some of Our Clients

I was in need of a quick fix to a big organizational problem at my place of business, KCX was the perfect solution. I am totally satisfied.

Ronald Toning - Delaware STEM Council