Posted Thursday, September 30, 2010

New York Industrial Retention Network Joins Pratt Center for Community Development

Pratt Institute today announced the consolidation of the New York Industrial Retention Network (NYIRN) with the Pratt Center for Community Development, a department within Pratt Institute.

Since 1963, the Pratt Center has provided architectural, urban planning, and other professional services to community groups serving low and moderate-income people and communities in New York City. As part of its work advancing community-based planning, affordable housing, environmental sustainability, and economic opportunity, the Pratt Center has long been a leading force in promoting a diverse economic base. The arrival of NYIRN, New York City's leading advocate for the manufacturing sector, expands the capacity of the Pratt Center to support more sustainable, prosperous, and livable neighborhoods.

"I would like to welcome NYIRN to Pratt Institute, and look forward to fostering collaborations between the Institute and industry for the benefit of New York City's neighborhoods and economy," said Pratt Institute President Thomas Schutte. "Pratt Institute's industrial design, fashion, environmental systems management, and other programs support and benefit from a strong manufacturing sector, and we are proud to take on this leadership role."

Mike Pratt, chair of the Pratt Institute Board of Trustees and member of the Pratt Center's Advisory Board, said: "Bringing the expertise and experience of NYIRN into Pratt Institute deepens our ability to shape a successful future for low and moderate-income communities. We are excited about the opportunities to promote new models for business and job development."

David Sweeney, the out-going chair of NYIRN's board of directors and one of six NYIRN board members who will be joining the Pratt Center's Advisory Board, welcomed the opportunity to join forces with Pratt Institute's influential team of policy experts and technical assistance providers. "I am confident that the consolidation with the Pratt Center will further NYIRN's mission," said Sweeney. "Building new bridges to the community development field and expanding both our ability to deliver technical assistance and develop new policies," he added.

"The consolidation will improve the delivery of services, ground policy in real-life experience, and achieve economic efficiencies that are critical to the operations of today's non-profit organizations," said Gary Hattem, chair of the Pratt Center's Advisory Board. "Beyond these important logistical considerations, the consolidation also presents an approach to community development and urban planning that seeks to integrate the resources that communities will need as we move into the next century."

The Pratt Center was one of the founding members of NYIRN in 1997, and Ron Shiffman, the founding director of the Pratt Center, served as its chair. NYIRN has provided services to more then 2,000 companies and helped retain tens of thousands of jobs. Its research and advocacy led to the creation of New York City's Industrial Business Zones, to the growth of a green manufacturing sector in New York, and the launch of numerous new initiatives to save and create jobs, and integrate economic and environmental policy.

The organizations will be directed by Adam Friedman, who is currently the Director of the Pratt Center and was previously the founding director of NYIRN. The two organizations have combined their operations, staffs, and budgets. NYIRN will continue to operate under its own name for a minimum of two years, as it integrates its operations and services into those of the Pratt Center.