Rutgers is a major contributor to the greater New Brunswick economy

Rutgers’ Impact in the Community

It all adds up: Rutgers is a major contributor to the greater New Brunswick economy. Our impact starts with dollars spent and funds invested. But it hardly ends there. Rutgers shares many valuable assets—from manpower hours to infrastructure improvements—with its host community. Here are some of the ways that Rutgers’ presence helps to strengthen the economy in New Brunswick,Piscataway, and Middlesex County.

Supporting local business

Good for business: that’s the 39,000-plus students attending Rutgers–New Brunswick. They study, play, and live locally, shopping in corner stores and noshing in coffee bars. They buy supplies downtown and bring family and friends to local restaurants. With each student spending an average of $8,642 a year, this translates to a hefty total spending of about $337 million in our local economy.

Add to that a daily influx of another 10,000 potential customers: Rutgers’ faculty and staff. Our employees grab sandwiches for lunch, run errands in town, and meet colleagues for dinner after work. University activities—like academic conferences, faculty meetings, and special events—translate to significant revenue streams for local hotels, restaurants, conference centers, and catering firms.

Athletic contests. Cultural events. Academic conferences. Each year, Rutgers attracts more than 855,000 visitors who infuse an estimated $13 million into the local economy.

Rutgers purchases locally

It takes a lot to run a powerhouse university. Computers and printers. Carpentry and painting. Lab equipment and office supplies. Rutgers buys a lot, and we buy a lot of it from our neighbors. Not only is Rutgers committed to purchasing locally, we make it a priority to support small businesses and women- and minority-owned businesses. In fact, in the period from January 2009 to September 2010 alone, Rutgers spent:

  • $125.3 million in goods and services within Middlesex County
  • $37.9 million with small businesses of 50 or fewer employees
  • $39 million in purchases from about 300 unique vendors in New Brunswick
  • $20 million with 200 unique vendors in Piscataway

Public services partner

Rutgers is New Brunswick’s public services partner, sharing its resources to help foster a safe and secure community. Here’s a quick look at our contributions:

  • Police and Emergency Services: All of Rutgers’ emergency services—police, fire, and ambulance—aid local colleagues as needed. They also provide training programs and share intelligence, equipment, and personnel.
  • Environmental Health and Safety: Rutgers disseminates public information, advises local governments, conducts educational programs and training exercises, and provides local disaster response and instruction.
  • Transportation: Rutgers’ campus buses provide free transit to approximately 500 residents each day.
  • Emergency Management: Public emergencies—from severe weather to hazardous materials to terrorist threats—require coordination among Rutgers and our municipal and county counterparts. We assist in risk assessment, provide emergency action plans, and conduct training exercises, among many other efforts.

Building for the future

Heldrich Plaza

Stronger bonds from bricks and mortar: Rutgers’ downtown building program demonstrates our commitment to more fully integrate university life with city life. Working with the City of New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO), and other partners, Rutgers has invested in several recent capital construction projects, including:

  • Civic Square, a multiuse complex on the corner of Livingston Avenue and New Street that puts two Rutgers schools—Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and Mason Gross School of the Arts—at the city’s crossroads
  • Health Sciences Center, including the College of Nursing building and the Institute for Health Sciences, an academic facility located between Paterson and Bayard streets providing a bricks-and-mortar foundation for health care partnerships with the city
  • Gateway Transit Village, a mixed-use city facility connecting College Avenue to the New Brunswick train station, featuring a new university bookstore, parking garage,  office space, residential rental units, and for-sale condominium homes
  • Heldrich Plaza, a 365,000-square-foot hotel anchor project on Livingston Avenue that includes the John J.Heldrich Center for Workforce Development
  • Rockoff Hall, a 12-story retail and student residential high-rise on George Street
  • Rutgers Public Safety Building, a 75,000-square-foot facility that expands Rutgers’ presence along the George Street corridor
  • University Center at Easton Avenue, a 12-story, 562,000 square-foot, mixed-use complex that includes apartment-style dormitory housing, structured parking, the Rutgers Fitness Center, and street-level retail space

Infrastructure improvements like these spur short-term spending while providing a foundation for long-term economic growth. Rutgers’ completed and planned major construction projects boost our host cities’ economy through:

  • jobs for contractors, construction workers, architects, engineers, and others
  • construction-related purchasing, from meals to materials
  • retail space that generates tax revenue and improves the downtown shopping district
  • employment for local residents in retail stores and other enterprises
  • infusion of Rutgers faculty, staff, and students into an invigorated city center