How We Work

1. Identify

New Brunswick Tomorrow engages residents and community stakeholders to determine the community’s health, education and human service needs. We’re catalysts driven by both data and the community’s valuable input and insights regarding local needs. Typically, NBT also uses community forums, focus groups, and its task forces to identify and build consensus on the needs of residents.

Examples of our work include:

  • The Survey of New Brunswick Residents conducted by the Eagleton Poll since 1978
  • Strategic Needs Assessment of New Brunswick Residents conducted by the Bloustein Center for Survey Research
  • Health Needs Assessment conducted by the Center for State Health Policy

2. Convene

With over 1,000 stakeholder partners, over 200 local social programs, and many funding partners, the need to convene partners and decrease fragmentation is great. NBT is agile and uniquely positioned in the community to bring together a diversity of partners in order to dialogue and take action on community needs.

Examples of our work include:

  • Task Forces – NBT regularly convenes three action-oriented task forces in the areas of Youth, Families, and Health. These task forces are chaired by community leaders and bring together residents and stakeholder partners with the aim of improving the quality of life in the city of New Brunswick. Task forces identify barriers and potential solutions to some of the most complex social issues in our community.
  • New Brunswick Faith-based Coalition – NBT, in collaboration with the City of New Brunswick, convenes regularly the leaders of the city’s faith-based community. Presently, NBT has been able to identify over 50 houses of worship, and has successfully convened over 40 on a regular basis.
  • New Brunswick Child Care Consortium – Periodically, NBT convenes all of the childcare providers to create a forum where they can explore their needs, such as training and development for childcare workers.
  • Action Planning Forums – In order to address social and health issues, NBT will convene its partners to gather their valuable insights and expertise on local issues and develop the best strategies and tactics.

3. Innovate

NBT’s Task Force members help to create action plans that consist of program or policy interventions. With a profound understanding of the community’s needs, the task forces develop and endorse specific strategies and tactics. If a program is developed, NBT may create a funding partnership in order to provide “seed funding” to pilot a project.

After operating for a period of time, NBT’s Evaluation Task Force reviews the program’s inputs and outcomes. If an intervention, either a program or policy approach, has been proven successful and if there is still a need for this program within the community, NBT reconvenes the appropriate partners and funders to identify a more permanent funding source and approach in order to sustain the program over time.

Examples of our work include:

  • New Brunswick School Based Youth Services Program, in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, New Brunswick Board of Education, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation and Andersen Corporate Foundation to implement a comprehensive school based program that offers students mental health counseling, case management, employment, recreation, and academic supports. The program helps young students navigate adolescent years through school and to help them obtain skills leading to employment or continuing education and to graduate healthy and drug free.
  • Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) is an intensive study program that targets 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students in the academic “middle” with the aim of improving academic performance in English, math, language arts and science. Additionally, the program works to increase matriculation rates of students into four-year undergraduate programs. NBT, in partnership with Rutgers University, ensures that these students have access to tutoring.
  • New Brunswick Public Schools (NBPS) Adult Learning Center provides English as a Second Language classes for limited English proficient adults with English language instruction in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing in order to function effectively as workers, citizens and family members in an English-speaking environment. In December 2010, the Adult Learning Center held a registration that resulted in approximately a 300-person waiting list. NBT provided funding which has resulted in five additional classrooms.

4. Develop

In 2002, NBT engaged the Center for Strategic Urban Community Leadership at Rutgers University to develop a leadership program focused on building the capacity of individuals who demonstrate an interest in assuming leadership roles. The program to reach this emerging pool of leaders is known as “Leadership Tomorrow.” To date, over 90 individuals have graduated from this program, and an additional 30 is expected by March 2012.

The outcome from this first step is the identification and cultivation of a cadre of emerging leaders that represents all sectors in the community. The program provides a process to increasing self-awareness and leadership development, strengthening professional skills, practicing important organizational and community skills and addressing their leadership potential roles in the larger community. In addition, their participation provides access to a network of individuals who, at various levels, are linked to the community and now have an opportunity to engage and take on larger roles.

The second step in NBT’s leadership development strategy was to identify Leadership Tomorrow graduates who remain committed to the city’s revitalization and are becoming influential forces in the larger community as leaders who want change and action. The program design for implementing this second step is known as “Leadership Now.” In this program, a carefully selected group of Leadership Tomorrow graduates is invited to participate in a program that offers training at a higher intensity level and that focuses on utilizing their leadership capacity to address an actual community issue.