West Philadelphia skyline

People & Partners

University City District:
Parent Organization

University City District is a partnership of world-renowned anchor institutions, small businesses, and residents that creates opportunity, and improves economic vitality and quality of life in the University City area of West Philadelphia. UCD’s primary mission is community revitalization. We work within a place-based, data-driven framework to invest in world-class public spaces, address crime and public safety, bring life to commercial corridors, connect residents to careers, and promote job growth and innovation.

West Philadelphia train

Our Team

The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative is staffed by individuals who are committed to the success of both job seekers and employers.
The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) | Matt Bergheiser

Matt Bergheiser

President of University City District


Matt leads University City District (UCD), a partnership of anchor institutions, business leaders, and community groups invested in the shared vitality of the 2.4 square mile area of Philadelphia.

AJ Adams photop

A.J. Adams

Manager of Partner Services


A.J. is responsible for developing and executing all workforce programming at the Navy Yard while strengthening WPSI’s partnership with PIDC as a part of the strategic vision to grow WPSI’s impact through expanding its geographic reach. 

Patrick Bayer

Patrick Bayer

Senior Manager of Economic Development and Analysis


Patrick oversees WPSI’s data systems, and works to assess the program’s overall effectiveness through the development of formal evaluation metrics.

Lauren Bishop

Senior Manager of Employer Services


Lauren is responsible for maintaining and growing WPSI’s employer relationships, supporting targeted recruitment efforts, and lending her expertise to grow our impact within our employer partners’ organizations.

Morris Burns

Manager of Applicant Experience


Morris provides direct support to program applicants, guiding them through the application process, and identifying areas for improvement to make the process more efficient and equitable.

Caitlin Garozzo

Executive Director


Cait designs and manages the WPSI participant experience both during and after the program.

Fontaine Gutierrez

Manager of Communications

Fontaine builds and executes content to amplify the WPSI story.

Joshua Park

Senior Manager of Strategy and Partnerships


Josh fosters WPSI’s relationships with employers, funders, and other workforce organizations to open new career pathway opportunities for talent across Philadelphia.

Jazzmin Prosper

Jazzmin Prosper

Manager of Continuing Development


Jazzmin manages the Pathway to Promotion program along with WPSI Scholars. 

Romaine Thrower

Dr. Romaine Thrower, Ed.D

Director of Programs


Romaine serves as an expert on instructional design methodologies that allows her plan, implement, and supervise key aspects of WPSI’s nationally recognized job training program.


The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative would not be possible without the continued support of our funders. Their funding has been instrumental in connecting over 1,000 opportunity seekers to jobs with clear career paths and family-sustaining wages since WPSI’s inception. Our thanks to the following organizations who have made substantial, enduring investments in our success: West Philadelphia Skills Initiative is grateful to University City District’s Board of Directors for supporting its founding, growth, and operations. We are thankful for our board members’ generous financial contributions to University City District and their partnership in building this organization.
WPSI graduation