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Rutgers University Technical Assistance Program

Rutgers University Technical Assistance Program (RUTAP) provides technical assistance to non-profit groups, community based organizations, and government agencies, helping them to develop plans to achieve their own economic goals, including the creation of sustainable jobs in economically distressed areas. The program provides access to specialized expertise in the following areas: creating strategic alliances between profit and non-profit organizations, using the internet for economic development, and demanufacturing.

Accomplishments

Explore RUTAP's accomplishments in providing jobs for community members in Newark, developing a program to provide jobs and help the environment, helping Kearny, New Jersey maintain its vitality, and working with Elizabeth, NJ to help the Urban Enterprise Zone program increase revenues.

e-secretary.com

Project - e-secretary.com

One of RUTAPs missions is to help non-profits create jobs in the inner city. The Internet has created unheard of opportunities for business and job creation. Our goal is to work with New Jersey non-profits to develop internet-based businesses. E-secretary.com is the first of those businesses.

  • typing
  • dictation/transcription
  • data entry
  • faxing services
  • duplication services

Major companies are outsourcing many non-core business activities like housecleaning, delivery services, and photocopying. Some aspects of the secretarial function such as typing can be classified as a non-core business activity and therefore can be out-sourced. E-secretary.com’s business model is to help companies do just that. The way it works is as follows: Executives call our 800 telephone number and are connected to a sophisticated dictation system. They dictate their letter and they are done. We type it, proofread it, and send it back to them via e-mail (on their letterhead). What could be easier? This idea has a number of advantages. Companies do not need to hire additional secretaries, they can use us during their peak seasons, and executives can use us while they are on the road. We are their 24 hour secretary.

Accomplishment

RUTAP created the business plan for e-secretary.com. The RUTAP business plan included an initial marketing survey, implementation study, cost analysis, and final written proposal. That business plan is being submitted to a major New Jersey non-profit for their review. If they decide to develop the business, RUTAP will support the effort.

Summary

e-secretary.com plans to take advantage of a company's need for a secretary or typist, while catering to a company's desire to outsource non-core functions to reduce expenditures on temporary employees. e-secretary.com will act as a company's secretary, performing many of the secretaries' clerical functions.

The business plan calls for a phased implementation of services. The first phase will include typing, dictation/transcription, data entry, faxing and duplication services. These services will be offered to all clients, but initial marketing efforts will be targeted to existing RUTAP contacts. e-secretary.com plans to start the business with three 'beta' clients who will work with the company to refine the business process. These 'beta' clients will be offered positions on the board of directors and will have a hand in shaping the business.

Market analysis indicates that the primary marketing focus should be towards large businesses and both the legal and medical communities. These businesses offer the greatest opportunity for volume workloads and repeat business. The Market Plan and Market Analysis sections of the business plans further detail this information.

Implementation

Currently available technologies include the use of digital Dictaphone equipment and voice recognition software. Other currently available technologies that will be used include the Internet, office automation applications such as MS Office, and graphical software such as those produced by Adobe and Corel.

Demanufacturing

Project - Demanufacturing

Demanufacturing is the disassembly and recycling of obsolete consumer products. The goal is to remove and recycle every component in an appliance. For example, the motherboard and metal parts of a computer are smelted and the metals are recovered. The TV tube in the monitor is recycled and turned into a new TV tube. The computers plastic housing is recovered and turned into new computer housings. The goal of the process is to reuse all of the materials that make up the computer, not throw them away.

Demanufacturing is an industry will thrive in urban areas because inner cities have a unique set of resources that provide competitive advantage to demanufacturing companies. These resources include an extensive transportation network, a large population base that generates used consumer electronics, a workforse that can easily adapt to the needs of demanufacturing companies, and an economic development infrastructure that supports the creation of new businesses.

Our vision is that the emerging industry of demanufacturing will have a significant impact on economic development in our urban centers by creating large numbers of jobs for unskilled and semiskilled workers.

Goal

To provide technical assistance for a start-up demanufacturng firm based in New Jersey.

Achievements

RUTAP wrote the economic development portion of Union County’s strategic plan that identified demanufacturing as a strategic industry to attract to Union County.

RUTAP worked with La Casa Don Pedro (a Newark Community Based Organization) and TCGI, a for-profit remanufacturer to develop a public-private partnership. That partnership allows major corporations to donate their used computers to La Casa. Those computers are repaired, upgraded, and provided to other non-profits or… demanufactured and recycled if they are too old to be reused.

RUTAP published the first major article on demanufacturing in Economic Development Quarterly, August, 1998 See executive summary below:

RUTAP has created a children's video on demanufacturing and distributed it to 350 primary schools in New Jersey.

RUTAP worked with the EPAs Common Sense Initiative to develop public policy initiatives in the area of electronic waste disposal.

RUTAP developed the Demanufacturing Partnership Program which used a series of conferences to jump-start the demanufacturing industry in New Jersey.

RUTAP's Results

New Jersey is now one of the leading demanufacturing States in the Nation.

To find out more, please contact RUTAP.

Reference

Demanufacturing: The Emergence of an Urban Industry Economic Development Quarterly, Vol. 12 No 3, August 1998 pg 238-247, Sage Publications

Executive Summary

Demanufacturing is the disassembly and recycling of obsolete consumer products such as TV sets, personal computers, refrigerators, washing machines, and air conditioners. The basic argument of this article is that demanufacturing is an industry that will thrive in urban areas, because inner cities have a unique set of resources that provide competitive advantage to demanufacturing companies. This article also argues that demanufacturing can have a significant impact on economic development in our urban centers by creating large numbers of jobs for unskilled and semiskilled workers. A model is suggested for the development of this industry and identifies some of the challenges the industry faces, as well as solutions that can be implemented by state, local, and federal officials.

Urban Revitalization

Project - Urban Revitalization

Kearny, NJ is a small community just minutes from Newark, New Jersey. Kearny has been reborn from an old manufacturing urban town to an affordable middle class Newark suburb. An easy commute to Newark or New York City makes Kearny a favorite place to live.

As an older town, Kearny has had to change with the times. The days of a central business area has been replaced with large scale malls and strip shopping centers.

Goal

To provide technical assistance to the Kearny business people as part of an Urban Revitalization Project.

Achievements

RUTAP embarked on a mission to help Kearny's central area business people by accomplishing the following:

  1. Produce a survey targeted at customers and owners of Kearny businesses
  2. Interview selected Central Area Business Owners
  3. Interpret Survey Results
  4. Formulate an Action Plan to help the Central Area Business Owners grow their businesses.

RUTAP's Urban Revitalization Project helped improve communication between Kearny's Central Area business owners.

RUTAP discovered that Kearny needed an Urban Enterprise Program.

Contribution

RUTAP organized a letter based marketing program and provided technical assistance to the local Elizabeth urban enterprize zone administrator. In the time span of five months, those 250 companies were made aware of the Urban Enterprise program and were encouraged to join. The companies received accurate technical advice from RUTAP, smoothing the process.

City Revenue Generation

Project - City Revenue Generation

In an effort to encourage business in the Urban Zones of New Jersey, the State Legislature enacted legislation to change the amount of Sales Tax collected in Urban Zones.

The standard 6 percent State Sales Tax is reduced to a 3 percent Tax Rate for participating urban cities. The 3 percent Tax goes directly to that specific city. The State forgoes its portion of the Sales Tax (the other 3 percent), in order to help subsidize and strengthen urban business opportunities.

To participate, a business needs to be local and based geographically in an Urban Zone. The business needs to submit the proper paperwork to the State, County, and Urban city. Once enrolled, that business is exempt from collecting the 6 percent NJ State Sales Tax and can publicize the 3 percent local Urban Enterprise Tax.

Goal

RUTAP focused on the Elizabeth, NJ Urban Enterprise Zone. A study was conducted and determined that over 250 companies with $1 Million in sales were not participating in the Urban Enterprise 3 percent Tax program. RUTAP's goal was to design a participation program for the 250 companies currently not using the Urban Enterprise Program.

Achievements

RUTAP organized a letter based marketing program and provided technical assistance to the local Elizabeth urban enterprize zone administrator. In the time span of five months, those 250 companies were made aware of the Urban Enterprise program and were encouraged to join.

Contribution

The companies received accurate technical advice from RUTAP, smoothing the process. RUTAP "sold" the program, encouraging these companies to take the time to apply. The companies benefit from a lower Sales Tax, effectively reducing their prices by 3 percent without damaging their profitability. The city of Elizabeth gains valuable Tax Revenues to reinvest into the local government and infrastructure.

Program Director

Gene Slowinski is the Director of the Rutgers University Technical Assistance Program at Rutgers Business School - Newark and New Brunswick. He has held management positions at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Bellcore, and Novartis Corporation. In addition to a Ph.D. in Management, Gene holds an MBA, and a Masters Degree in the sciences.

For the last 18 years Dr. Slowinski has conducted research on the economic development opportunities of strategic alliances, demanufacturing, and the Internet. An author and lecturer, Gene has presented his work to The Conference Board, The Licensing Executives Society, The Industrial Research Institute, and The American Electronics Association.  His articles can be found in Economic Development Quarterly, Business Horizons, Research and Technology Management, Mergers and Acquisitions, les Nouvelles, Cooperative Strategies in International Business, The Journal of Advanced Management, and Managing the High Technology Firm.

Gene is active in the technology management community.  He is a member of the Academy of Management, the Licensing Executives Society, The Conference Board's International Council on the Management of Technology and Innovation, the Industrial Research Institute's Research-on-Research Committee and the Technology Management Research Center at Rutgers University.