About the Institute

What We Do 

guarini institute logo

We believe today’s non-traditional college students need a different approach to bridge the current gaps between education and work. By connecting our students to educational, mentoring, career building, and work experiences within an innovative, supportive ecosystem and leveraging cutting edge technologies, we help them build the skills, knowledge, confidence, networks, and global awareness that improve their job readiness, the transition from college to work, and ultimately, their ability to survive and thrive in ways that increase income, education, health, and upward mobility.

To accomplish our mission, we focus on:

  • Building a robust economic mobility hub that brings together students, faculty, businesses, the local community, and international entities to connect students to employers and employers to diverse talent.
  • Forging partnerships with employers, funders, and collaborators across the “education to work” ecosystem to pilot, support, and expand programs that improve the connections between education, jobs, and mobility.
  • Investing in novel approaches that help students build the skills, work experiences, global and cultural awareness, networks, and confidence that strengthen their college to career pathway and improve their upward mobility.

History of the Institute

Congressman Frank Guarini

The Guarini Institute at NJCU was officially launched on November 18, 2020, with a virtual ribbon-cutting event attended by special guests and dignitaries from across the world. The institute was made possible by a $5 million gift in May 2020 from long-time NJCU donor, Congressman Frank J. Guarini.

In February 2021, Dr. Adrian Franco, a former officer and director at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, began his role as inaugural executive director and manager of the $5 million gift. NJCU President Sue Henderson said: “I am pleased to welcome Dr. Adrian Franco to our institution in this exciting new capacity. Dr. Franco’s experience in education, development, leadership, and his past executive roles in his native Mexico make him uniquely qualified to build our shared vision to make NJCU the statewide leader in enhancing business, culture, and citizenry.”

Since then, the Institute has been renamed the Guarini Institute for International Education and Economic Mobility to reflect the Institute’s mission and measurable goals and respond to the challenges that have emerged in higher education and Jersey City due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about Guarini and his gift.

“Education is the most important word in our language, in any language. It’s how we create leaders, grow our economy, and learn about other people, which nurtures peace. Education is the key to a better world.” Hon. Frank J. Guarini