Rensselaer’s outreach into its home community takes shape in a broad array of programs through which the university shares its talent and resources.
At the top of the list are economic development initiatives. The highly successful Rensselaer Technology Park and Incubator Program stand as testament to the university’s long-standing commitment to fostering technological entrepreneurship in the Capital District. Both are key players in regional efforts to develop a high technology corridor in a region famed as one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution.
Rensselaer is also committed to the Troy Redevelopment Foundation, a group of the city’s largest nonprofit entities that makes an annual, voluntary gift to the city to promote economic development and contribute to Troy’s bottom line. The Troy Architectural Program (TAP), honored in January 2002 by the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal as one of the state’s 10 best neighborhood and rural preservation companies, dates back to 1969, when it was established by students and faculty in Rensselaer’s School of Architecture. A nonprofit corporation, TAP participates in 100 Capital Region projects each year, including The Children’s Museum of Science and Technology, now housed in the Rensselaer Technology Park, and the Joseph L. Bruno Family Resource Center, which offers services for daycare, family counseling, and job training.
TAP’s vision for Troy is embodied in a joint venture with Rensselaer, the Rensselaer Neighborhood Renewal Initiatives, established in 2001 to enhance the livability of Troy’s neighborhoods, foster economic development, and stabilize property values. A key part of this effort is the university’s Homebuyer Incentive Program, which offers $5,000 to each qualified buyer who purchases a home in targeted neighborhoods adjacent to the campus.
Especially meaningful and rewarding are Rensselaer’s collaborative programs with area schools. Through programs such as Saturday Scholars and the Rensselaer Summer Science Enrichment Program, we bring bright young students to campus to work with science, math, and technology in ways that excite their aspirations for college study and rewarding careers.
At Rensselaer at Hartford, the administration, staff, and faculty are dedicated to community service and assisting in the revitalization of their neighborhood. For example, for more than 20 years, the university has sponsored Summer Computer Camp for more than 1,000 local children. Other projects include work with the United Way, the American Cancer Society, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and many local charities.