The Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority and its labor supplier, Elliott Lewis Corp., have agreed to eliminate the 8 percent labor management fee that has been charged to customers and exhibitors for supplying unionized labor services at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. The change is effective July 1, 2012.

The elimination of the 8 percent fee is an initial step in the transition to a new business model that will assist in lowering labor costs and attract new business to the convention center. “We listened to our customers and we took their needs seriously,” says Ahmeenah Young, president and chief executive officer at PCCA. “We are definitely excited about sharing this new development.”

The announcement was made at the Meeting Metropolis, an event for meeting planners designed to showcase the $787 million expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. It now has 679,000 square feet of exhibit space and 152,000 square feet of meeting space—a 62 percent increase overall.

“The elimination of the 8 percent fee is in the best interest of the customer and will make the Pennsylvania Convention Center, now larger, much more competitive so more planners choose to meet here and, just as important, choose to return,” says Gregory Fox, PCCA chairman of the board.

In addition to the elimination of the labor management fee, there are a number of other steps that will be fully implemented by July 2012, all of which support the “customer-centric” focus that is at the core of the convention center’s strategic plan. Hospitality training will become a requirement for every person working in the building, including PCCA management staff, union workers, and vendors. Each has the responsibility for ensuring a memorable visitor experience. Full billing transparency is another major procedural change.