Capstone Courses and Projects

New York City Department of Small Business Services

Targeted Sector Workforce Development Program
Working with the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS), the Capstone team recommended a design for a pilot workforce development program that targets a growing sector of the city’s economy. In 2003, SBS assumed responsibility for adult workforce development programs from the former Department of Employment. SBS intends to launch a pilot program that is employer-driven and targets integrated workforce development resources towards a sector of the city’s economy, effectively linking workforce development goals with economic development goals. The Capstone team organized the project into two phases, first recommending a sector on which to focus the pilot and then proposing an implementation strategy. After comprehensive research of all major sectors in the city economy using several economic criteria, the team recommended three sectors on which the pilot could focus: colleges and universities, financial services, and ambulatory health care. SBS decided to focus the pilot on the hospital sector. The team then conducted a thorough program design analysis, including nationwide best practices research and exploratory interviews of key industry experts in New York City before recommending a pilot program design. Using the recommendations of the Capstone team, SBS is moving closer to implementing its workforce development pilot program.

South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SOBRO)

Retail Attraction Strategy: The South Bronx
The purpose of the Capstone team’s project is to lay out how South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SOBRO) can leverage its resources in the South Bronx to create a retail corridor as popular as 125th Street in Harlem or Fordham Road in the Bronx. By addressing its own weaknesses (such as visual appeal and safety perceptions) and playing off weaknesses in the 125th Street and Fordham Road markets, the HUB can create its own niche market to attract consumers. The key to attracting this solid consumer base is to offer retail opportunities that do not exist elsewhere; thus, if the HUB can attract stores that are not on 125th Street or Fordham Road, then this will establish the consumer base it needs to attract the stores that are on 125th Street and Fordham Road, which will eventually make the HUB as popular a shopping zone as the other two.

West Brighton Local Development Corporation (WBLDC)

West Brighton Exploratory Development Strategy
The Capstone team designed an exploratory economic development strategy for a selection of waterfront industrial brownfield sites in West Brighton, Staten Island. The project culminated in the suggestion of two economic development visions for the area, including a microindustrial artisan collective and a school and incubator for industrial and technological arts. The project included three phases: 1 A physical site assessment, including environmental review and development analyses to establish feasibility for redevelopment; 2 An economic and demographic review of the project area and greater region, including a study of applicable industries for the location; and 3 Collection of supplementary marketing materials for WBLDC to deliver its vision.