An Anchor Institution

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The economic development role and impact of anchor institutions, such as higher educational institutions, hospitals and private sector companies with longstanding connection to place, is gaining national recognition. Anchor institutions can leverage their buying power, and their  roles as a significant employers, conveners of stakeholders, and repositories of knowledge about entrepreneurship and manufacturing,to support local economic development.

Rutgers University – Newark, especially through Rutgers Business School (RBS), has established significant efforts to promote urban entrepreneurship and support urban manufacturing.  The The RBS Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development (CUEED) concentrates on building strong corporate and community partnerships to support the revitalization of Newark and other urban areas in New Jersey, educating entrepreneurs, students, and the public about urban entrepreneurship and economic development.

CUEED’s Entrepreneurship Pioneers Initiative (EPI), launched in 2009, provides selected participants with intensive training, individual business and financial counseling, peer counseling, networking opportunities, and mentoring over a nine month period to help them grow and improve their businesses. More than 130 entrepreneurs have graduated from the program. EPI assists the entrepreneurs with developing a strategic plan to grow their businesses. At the completion of the nine months, participants have a plan to grow their business over the next three years that they can immediately begin implementing.

Another RBS resource that will support anchor-led local economic development efforts is the nationally recognized RBS Center for Supply Chain Management (CSCM), dedicated to developing innovative strategies and practical solutions for supply chain challenges encountered by businesses. CSCM promotes problem-solving and research between the faculty and the business community, serves as a ready source of leading-edge best practices in supply chain management, and develops and delivers executive education to the business community.

Two CUEED and CSCM pilot initiatives are focusing time and resources on RU-N’s anchor economic development strategy:

The Halsey Street Initiative
This initiative proposes to focus attention on revitalizing the retail corridor bordering RU-N’s campus.  The retail establishments in the area span the spectrum of personal care establishments, eateries and discount stores.  Some niche eateries have opened in recent years adding to a growing perception that Halsey Street has much potential to become a vibrant corridor that can set the pace for development beyond the boundaries of Broad Street over to Central Avenue.  This potential is even more present given the expansion of Prudential Financial’s headquarters and the development of the Hahne’s building with anchor tenants such as Whole Foods.

RU-N can assist local merchants build capacity to improve their business operations and  find ways to purchase goods and services that creates a strong value proposition for the merchants and the university. RU-N proposes to coordinate internal resources and assets, such as the CUEED and the CSCM to work with local merchants on projects such as:

  • Collaborative messaging and signage that promotes Halsey Street as a destination
  • Establishing a Halsey Street Coordinating Council (HSCC) comprised of institutional partners such as Prudential, the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL), RU-N and the merchants, to plan for and invest in improving the commercial vitality of the corridor
  • Work with the IFEL and CUEED to identify RBS students who can help Halsey street merchants hone their strategies while gaining valuable experience in entrepreneurship.
  • Create a coordinated purchasing system that gives the anchors an updated list of merchants and their goods and services. The anchors can tailor purchasing to existing capacity or assist in expanding merchant capacity to provide additional goods and services.

Newark Industrial Solutions Center (NISC)
NISC’s mission is to develop, strengthen, and promote Newark’s industrial competitiveness for the 400+ small to mid-sized manufacturers (SMEs), and the resulting economic development utilizing CSCM applied and embedded supply-chain and business development resources, tools and hands-on capabilities.  It is working with regional collaborators, including but not limited to the City of Newark, Newark Regional Business Partnership, Newark Workforce Investment Board, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program. 

CSCM is an active stakeholder-participant in the development of a Newark manufacturing strategy by the city’s Newark Manufacturing Initiative.  As such, it is committed to addressing pressing local/regional economic development matters that implicate supply chain sustainability, new innovation technology and small business competitiveness (for existing or new product and service development). For instance, plans to expand Port Newark and modernize Newark Liberty International Airport will, for the first time, offer existing Newark industries the opportunity to integrate global export opportunities into their business development strategies.  Rutgers University’s vast supply chain, procurement, environmental sustainability, commodity and logistic expertise utilizes the existing Newark industrial profiles to model options for future economic growth potential, while providing resource-strapped local businesses strategies to invest and prepare for the changes.

To date, the project plan has achieved the following objectives:

  • Providing a measurable increase in industrial competitiveness and business development opportunities. 
  • Creating a “one-stop” research and development site for Newark SME manufacturers to access customized support in the area of supply chain sustainability.
  • Continuously connecting greater Newark area manufacturers to face-to-face and business-to-business networks that promote supply chain competitiveness by boosting domestic sourcing, innovation, supply chain archaeology, new technology, and distribution.
  • Strengthening budding partnerships between industry consortia,  the city of Newark, and local and regional intermediaries to promote resource efficiency strategies. 
  • Working directly with underperforming small businesses with limited supply-chain and/or workforce capacities to improve their participation in the development of their emerging business development strategies. RBS student interns are working on complex business solutions and enhancement strategies.
  • Providing industry-specific supply-chain simulations and models to help companies increase their decision-making skills so they can develop and execute critical decisions and sustain a self-sufficient trajectory.
  • Jersey Bound:  NISC worked with Westfield Corporation, Spectrum, and several partners to create and launch the first NJ-manufactured artisan storefront at Newark Airport’s Terminal B.  Revenue supports NJ Business and several autism programs.
  • City of Newark Procurement Department Analysis Project: Will enhance the professional development of government procurement towards Newark businesses.
  • Developed and implemented corporate supplier diversity training programs to build major corporation’s capacity to secure contracts with Newark SMEs.
  • Working with international and NJ partners to develop NISC “Health As an Asset-Health Credits” programs within their industries
  • NJ Oyster Restoration Project: Developing a new business plan and new oyster substrate technology to attract entrepreneurs to oyster farming in Newark and North Jersey


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