Economic Inclusion

Towson University is a community-engaged anchor institution. Through mutually beneficial partnerships, TU is committed to improving the socioeconomic conditions of individuals and families on our campus and in our region. TU is developing intentional economic inclusion practices in the areas of hiring and purchasing to move this work forward.

Key Terminology

An anchor mission is “a commitment to intentionally apply an institution’s place-based economic power and human capital in partnership with community to mutually benefit the long-term well-being of both.” (Higher Education’s Anchor Mission: Measuring Place-Based Engagement, 2017)

Economic inclusion at Towson University means providing equitable and inclusive employment opportunities to residents in Greater Baltimore; buying from local, small, and diverse businesses; working with our vendor network to create and expand local employment opportunities; and delivering workforce development programs in order to stimulate the economy.

TU’s Local and National Anchor Path

Since 2017, Towson University has joined both local and national benchmarking initiatives to track and advance an anchor strategy.

Baltimore Integration Partnership

In 2017, Towson University became the only non-city institution to join the Baltimore Integration Partnership, a collaborative partnership of anchor institutions, funders, nonprofits, and public organizations focused on establishing economic inclusion as the business culture of norm in Greater Baltimore.

CUMU | TDC, Anchor Learning Network member

In 2019, Towson University was selected to join the Anchor Learning Network, a national initiative led by the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU), which is administered at TU, and the Democracy Collaborative to institutionalize an anchor mission. The goal of the Anchor Learning Network is to “transform higher education to fully serve its public mission and advance the long-term social, economic, and physical health of [their] campuses and communities.” Through participation, TU gains access to peer support and collaboration, assistance with measurement and data collection, and strategic communications support. Towson University has committed to tracking its anchor data related to local hiring, procurement, and education through 2022.


In 2020, Towson University's anchor workgroup was organized and charged with identifying baseline data on all current activities focused on local hiring, local procurement and K-12 community partnerships, as well as establishing TU’s anchor mission and objectives for advancing the anchor mission. The Baltimore Integration Partnership transitioned the goal setting and reporting efforts for Baltimore's economic inclusion activities to BLocal, a commitment by Baltimore-area businesses and anchor institutions to leverage their collective influence to help strengthen the city and create opportunities for Baltimoreans.

Current Efforts

Under the leadership of the Office of Human Resources, TU is developing strategic partnerships with local workforce development partners to create pathways for employment and skill-building opportunities. The Office of Human Resources is executing intentional and inclusive recruitment strategies focused on expanding hiring pools from across the region to ensure TU is reaching all potential candidates.

Interested in partnering with Towson University on local hiring?

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Under the leadership of the Office of Procurement, TU implements strategies which target local, small and diverse businesses in the Greater Baltimore Region to help support pathways for local buying. In accordance with USM policy, TU meets the Maryland State minority owned business and small business purchasing mandates of 29% and 15%. TU's Office of Procurement educates potential vendors on how to register and apply to be a TU vendor. These education sessions target small Maryland businesses and minority owned business in the Greater Baltimore region. TU also actively works with our contractors and vendors to encourage and expand local hiring and employment opportunities.