BRIDGEWATER, NJ – The Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) has entered into an innovative partnering framework with Rutgers University. The goal of the partnership is to build stronger connections between Rutgers University and the Somerset County business community by improving communications and building strategic member programs. Under the partnership, the SCBP and Rutgers will strive to develop activities that address the business needs and challenges of the SCBP members; workforce development, talent acquisition and ways to leverage faculty expertise are considered key areas of focus. As an initial step, the SCBP is working with Rutgers office of research and economic development to survey members so that the feedback can be used to drive the creation of targeted programs.
According to Mike Kerwin, President/CEO of the Business Partnership, “This agreement will make it easier for Somerset County businesses to engage with Rutgers and take advantage of the tremendous resources that Rutgers offers. We look forward to collaborating with Rutgers and serving as a platform for Rutgers to effectively communicate with the Somerset County business community.”
According to Dr. Christopher J. Molloy, senior vice president of the office of research and economic development at Rutgers, “This initiative matches our strategic objective to expand the depth and scope of the university’s collaborations with industry in New Jersey and the surrounding region.”
Rutgers will develop a survey to identify topics of key importance to SCBP members. Based on member needs, existing SCBP and Rutgers programs will be leveraged. Some examples may include Rutgers providing speakers and faculty to participate in SCBP panel discussions, invitations for SCBP members to attend Rutgers’ seminars, workshops and symposia and events to educate SCBP members on how to utilize and access Rutgers programs, expertise and capabilities. Communications streams and social media initiatives will also be established to generate awareness and grow Rutgers involvement with the SCBP community.
Kerwin further explained that building stronger connections between the SCBP and higher education is one of Somerset County’s top economic development objectives. These connections have resulted in workforce initiatives with the Raritan Valley Community College as well as a report prepared by the Bloustein School at Rutgers University on how Somerset County can be attractive to the millennial generation.
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