Reflection on Newark Alliance

By: Kimberly McLain

Glance Back. A Look Forward
With pride in where we have been and anticipation for
where I am headed, it is with faith, courage, and a bag of
mixed emotions that I’ve decided to bid farewell to the
Newark Alliance. Throughout my tenure as president and
CEO of the Alliance, I was blessed to meet, collaborate, and
build strong relationships with people and organizations
with which we shared a common goal: to bolster Newark’s
workforce and economy now and into the future. Today,
as I was when God first brought me to the Alliance, I am
excited about His next plan for my life. So it is with joy and
anticipation, as I continue on the path He has set for me,
that I glance back to recognize a few of the achievements
the collective “we” have been able to accomplish together:

Expanding membership.
United Airlines and Broadridge Financial are now corporate
sponsors of the Alliance, joining Prudential, PSEG,
Panasonic, and a host of businesses, institutions, thought
leaders, and community stakeholders who recognize the
importance of contributing to Newark’s renaissance. The
mere fact that these national corporate giants have taken a
position to dedicate financial and people resources to making
Newark’s economy strong is an encouraging signal to
other corporations and institutions to come on-board.

Influencing state policy.
Through having a leadership role in the Governor’s Transition
Team’s Urban and Regional Growth Committee, we
were able to bring the anchor institution framework to the
state level. The final report, adopted by the New Jersey Economic
Development Authority, cites a strategy that advances
the commitment of local institutions and corporations to
hire local talent and procure from local suppliers in the cities
where they do business. This strategy has been led by
Alliance members who are setting examples for others to

Creating an anchor table.
The Alliance worked with partners to create a space dedicated
to traditional, corporate, and cultural anchors interested
in collaborating on strategies to strengthen their connections
and contributions to the local community. This burgeoning
Community of Practice is designed to share ideas
and strategies that promote local hiring and procurement
and will continue to seek ways to have positive impact on the
city. Audible, Rutgers-Newark, and RWJBarnabas Health are
among the entities that have adopted and are implementing
this mindset.

Leading city-wide collaborations.
And finally, fueled by the Mayor’s Newark 2020 Initiative –
to connect 2,020 residents to full-time, living wage jobs by
the Year 2020—and by an unprecedented collaboration, led
by the Newark Alliance, of employers, training providers,
government partners, and job-seekers working together, it is
evident that Newark’s economy will be fueled by a qualified,
competitive, local talent pool ready to both contribute their
time and talent to their city as well as enjoy the benefits of
gainful employment.
Without a doubt, I can look to the future with certainty
knowing the momentum for a stronger Newark workforce
and economy is well-underway. Newark Alliance has a meaningful
role to play in maximizing the full potential of the
city, and I proudly pass the baton so the work can continue
building on the lasting legacy and solid foundation we
established together.
I wish the new leadership team at the Newark Alliance
blessings and success as you take the helm to continue doing
your part to move this great city and its people into a stronger
and more prosperous economy in which they, too, can
benefit from the renaissance. Newark Strong!