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The Role of Anchor Institutions in Neighborhood Development

Monday, July 18, 2011 (Bronx, NY)- President Félix Matos Rodríguez participated as a guest panelist at last week’s Department of Small Business Services’ (SBS) Fourth Annual Business Improvement District (BID) Conference titled, The Role of Anchor Institutions in Neighborhood Development. Alongside President Matos were distinguished leaders Dr. Jonathan Fanton, current Franklin Delano Roosevelt visiting Fellow of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College and the former President of The New School, and Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., President of Fordham University.

The New York City’s Office of the Mayor and the Department of Small Business Services, in collaboration with the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, are studying the role of anchor institutions in urban development taking place throughout the five boroughs. Anchor institutions, organizations like colleges and hospitals that are integral to a local economy, improve neighborhoods by collaborating with their communities in a variety of ways. Hostos is no exception. Created by local activists who believed the South Bronx needed its own educational institution, Hostos continues to seek to transform the local area.

"Hostos has a strong history and track record serving as an anchor institution in the Bronx.  We are proud to continue to play a strong partnering role with many businesses, community organizations, and education institutions in our community and welcome the role of Deputy Mayor Steel and Commissioner Walsh in highlighting the importance of institutions of higher education in the City's economic development," remarked President Matos.

The goal of the conference was twofold. The panel featured heads of New York City anchor institutions who described their experiences working within their communities in order to revitalize their local areas. In addition, the conference encouraged representatives of NYC community-based organizations and business improvement districts to consider how they can partner with nearby anchor institutions.

Matos Rodríguez also highlighted that, "We remain committed to understanding our local employer's workforce needs and our community's educational necessities so that we can offer training and education to fill those demands.  Some recent examples of the innovate work we are doing include our new Allied Health Career Pipeline Program in workforce development; our emerging Center for Bronx Non-Profits in partnership with CAUSE-NY(JCRC) and the work of the Hostos Center for Art and Culture with the Bronx Council for the Arts, a longtime Bronx based cultural institution."

Opening remarks were given by Mr. Robert W. Walsh, Commissioner of SBS.
A welcome address was presented by Monica Blum, President of Lincoln Square BID.  Robert K. Steel, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development introduced the keynote speaker, Ms. Mary Kay Leonard, whose address focused on the role of anchor institutions promoting economic and community development in cities across the country. Paul Nelson, Assistant Commissioner, District Development, SBS introduced the panel discussion and its moderator 1010 Wins reporter, Juliet Papa.

About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College, part of The City University of New York system, was founded in 1968.  Located in the South Bronx, the college currently serves nearly 7,000 students.  In addition to associate degree programs that facilitate easy transfer to CUNY’s four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions, Hostos also has an award-winning Continuing Education and Professional Studies Department that offers courses for professional development and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. In four decades, Hostos has grown from a class of 623 in the fall of 1970 to the spring 2010 enrollment of nearly 7,000 students.  The college also serves an additional 12,000 students through its Continuing Education and Professional Studies Department. For more news and stories about Hostos Community College visit www.hostos.cuny.edu.

Media Contact:
Ana M. Carrión - amcarrion@hostos.cuny.edu
Soldanela Rivera - srlopez@hostos.cuny.edu
Phone: 718-518-6872 or 917-627-9097


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