Anchor institutions – hospitals, universities, municipal governments, and cultural institutions – represent a firm root in the community. These institutions are often located in communities that would benefit from deeper engagement – from job opportunities to purchasing from local businesses. The goal of this partnership between the neighborhood residents and its institutions is to build a resilient community that recognizes the long-term investment and economic power that the anchor holds.
Since 2015, Mile High Connects, in partnership with the Denver Foundation, has engaged local anchor institutions in a broader conversation around their role in community economic development within prioritized geographic areas. The result was the development of a regional anchor institution learning cohort, launched in late 2016. This emerging network is based on the framework that, through meaningful community engagement, local institutions can work hand in hand to expand local hire and procurement opportunities in communities surrounding their institution. Institutions actively participating in the learning cohort include the University of Colorado – Denver, Regis University, the University of Colorado – Anschutz Medical Campus, Kaiser Permanente, and others.