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Anchor Institution Initiative

The University of Missouri - St. Louis is committed to being a good neighbor and partner in our community by intentionally applying the University’s place-based operational and educational assets in partnership with community to build a strong North County and Saint Louis region.

UMSL Anchor Institution Framework

The four pillars under the Excellence in Community Engagement and Economic Development section in the UMSL Strategic Plan express UMSL’s efforts towards:

  • Local Hiring
  • Local Purchasing
  • Partnering with Local School Districts
  • And other Community-Focused Projects

On issues of health, services, and education, UMSL has a number of areas of expertise and services open to the public:

Health Education Professional Development Recreation and Exploration

UMSL is dedicated to support designed for businesses. There are a few sources focused solely on the support of small businesses in need of funding, guidance, information, or other information.

Vendor Opportunity Fair

More than 300 local business owners and other representatives turned up at the J.C. Penney Conference Center at the University of Missouri­–St. Louis as St. Louis County held its first-ever Vendor Opportunity Fair.

It was a chance for them to meet with leaders of various county departments and learn about the process of obtaining contracts with St. Louis County government. Presentations during the daylong fair covered how to become a vendor with St. Louis County and went through the process of bidding and procurement. It also offered attendees a chance to network with other business professionals.

Chancellor Kristin Sobolik welcomed the group to campus, and County Executive Sam Page delivered a keynote address during lunch in the Summit Lounge.


Small Business Workshop

UMSL, North County Inc., Beyond Housing, MU Extension, MOSourcelink, and the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership hosted a webinar for small businesses, nonprofits, and religious organizations. The webinar covered the Paycheck Protection Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, and local business resources available through the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, MU Extension’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center, and MOSourcelink.
Access the Webinar.

The University of Missouri–St. Louis is partnering with local nonprofit The SoulFisher Ministries to enhance job opportunities for justice-involved people in the St. Louis community.

Regions Bank has awarded them a $25,000 grant to help fund a series of panels aimed at reducing the stigma around justice-involved individuals while allaying the concerns local businesses might have about hiring them. 

St. Louis Great Streets Initiative 

UMSL seeks to transform the community surrounding our campus in north St. Louis County into a thriving neighborhood. The University Square Natural Bridge Road Project is already in progress. The Natural Bridge and surrounding area will accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists through the changes in infrastructure. There will be two stages of redevelopment with Natural Bridge being part of the first stage. 

Feature include, but are not limited to:

  • An 8- to 10-foot-wide sidewalk.
  • A 5-foot-wide “tree lawn.”
  • A 6-foot-wide bike path.
  • An 11-foot-wide driving lane.

Rather than viewing a roadway project as solely a way to move more cars and trucks faster, the goal of the St. Louis Great Streets Initiative is to trigger economic and social benefits by centering communities around interesting, lively and attractive streets that serve all modes of transportation. 

UMSL Community Card

  • Participate in the UMSL Insider Program, which offers a limited number of discounted tickets purchased in advance of Touhill Performing Arts Center events and discounted pricing on tickets bought within two hours before a show starts (limit two tickets per card holder)
  • Receive additional discounts on select UMSL Recreation and Wellness Center Promotions such as Resolution Jump Start annual memberships, one extra free Guest Pass on the 3rd Friday of each month, and two open nights a year for communities to use the center
  • Receive one box of popcorn free with purchase of a full price ticket at sporting events

UMSL Community Connections Newsletter

  • This monthly newsletter was created two years ago as a way to keep University of Missouri–St. Louis neighbors informed about events and activities occurring on campus and in nearby parts of north St. Louis County.
  • It reaches more than 4,000 people in communities around campus, including residents, elected officials, business owners, community organization leaders and alumni.