New York Fed official impressed by Newark's collaboration on economy
During a fireside chat with Rutgers Business School professor Kevin Lyons, John Williams, the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said he was optimistic the foundation is being built for a much more equitable future in parts of New Jersey.
The visit to Rutgers University-Newark by Williams was part of a day-long tour of several of New Jersey’s most dynamic cities – Asbury Park, Trenton and Newark.
Williams said the visits offer him a chance to hear about some of the biggest challenges the economy poses to cities that are trying to build stronger communities by re-storing housing, re-training workers and supporting small business development.
“This is a chance to go beyond the data,” Williams said.
Even as the state economy is doing well generally, leaders in these “gateway cities” are seeing revitalization impact housing affordability. “That’s created a lot of challenges,” he said.
When Lyons asked Williams for a take-away from his meeting with Newark government officials and community redevelopment organizations, the veteran Federal Reserve Bank leader said: the power of collaboration.
In Newark, he said, the collaboration is driven by a willingness to embrace the fact that diversity makes them stronger and they want to learn from one another and hear different perspectives. “There’s a lot of positive direction, it will be interesting to watch how it evolves,” he said.
It goes beyond a spirit of collaboration, Williams said. There is a sense, he said, that the world has changed and that the efforts to turn Newark into a prosperous and equitable city won’t succeed unless everyone works together.
Williams previously appeared at Rutgers University-Newark in 2016 during a conference on diversity in the financial services industry organized by Rutgers Business School. At the time, he was serving as the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
Rutgers Business School has been a strong source of talent for the Fed and the financial sector through master’s programs in quantitative finance, financial analysis and MBA in finance. In addition, Rutgers Business School’s Road to Wall Street program has been a pathway for undergraduate students to careers in investment banking.
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