The Office of Community Outreach enhances the connection between Western Michigan University and the Greater Kalamazoo Community in a mutually beneficial partnership in the areas of scholarship, research, service and economic development.
The vision of the Office of Community Outreach is to adapt continually to meet the changing needs of the University and its community partners and to increase WMU’s role as a critical resource.
- Enhance outreach effectiveness through efficient communications with internal and external partners.
- Increase funding from sources outside of WMU general fund.
- Manage workload more efficiently.
- The Western Michigan University Business Technology and Research Park is now home to 42 companies, including 18 start-ups located in the Innovation Center, which is now part of the WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine.
- 850 employees work in the BTR Park companies. Another 450 faculty and staff work in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, which shares the WMU Parkview Campus with the BTR Park.
- More than 100 BTR Park employees are WMU alumni.
- Several hundred student internships have been provided by BTR Park companies since it was launched in 2000.
- All property in the BTR Park has been developed or is under option. One parcel, owned by a private-sector company, not the University, is currently for sale.
- WMU in partnership with Oshtemo Township, will develop Phase Two; BTR 2.0, located on 55 acres: north of Parkview Avenue, south of Stadium Drive, west of Drake Road and east of U S 131. It is anticipated that ground will be broken during 2017. BTR 2.0 is expected to accommodate between eight and 12 companies and another 200-plus employees.
- WMU applied for and received a $2.5 million grant from the United States Economic Development Administration to help fund the infrastructure costs for BTR 2.0. This will be primarily for roads and utilities. Read more about the award at WMU News.