Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant. – Robert Louis Stevenson
Think about it. Enduring successes emerge out of a certain magic when the positive forces within us unite with complementary powers in others, igniting meaningful mutual actions to accomplish higher beneficial purposes. Personal and group inertia melts away in the moment – undergoing metamorphoses into new collective wills. Forced work often fails, but collaborative work that sparks our imagination gains lasting synergies that move worlds large and small even during the most trying of situations. Each adds to another.
There is no lack of need for such enlightened efforts or lack of caring committed people to take up the yokes to improve upon and overcome critical challenges and entropies. What is often missing is a catalyst to ignite the initial reactions. BizCatalytics helps people – and their organizations and communities – see and synthesize such movement, bringing out their inner forces of nature across pluralistic horizons.
The following examples illustrate the great powers of catalytic action at work in business, university, nonprofit, and government sectors. Many other examples can be shared as part of our relationship-building conversations about how we can work together to catalyze progress in your domains and directions. A few stories and outcomes from associated Burge/BizCatalytic projects.
Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Center (AMIC) – Pennsylvania State University: Burge engaged PSU's Behrend Campus leadership in brainstorming and focusing their Open Lab efforts on advanced manufacturing at Behrend's Knowledge Park (one of PSU's university research parks). His consulting work identified and prepared a federal grant for PSU targeting university-based advanced manufacturing industry partnerships. This early work stimulated and established a new direction for the school in developing a unique national advanced manufacturing model partnering the engineering and business schools on campus with regional and national companies. Results: Penn State Behrend opened the $16 million+ next generation AMIC in 2016. Since opening, the AMIC has already hosted a national meeting and worked with a number of regional companies to advance their manufacturing processes.
Burge conceived and initiated an expanded regional workforce training program to overcome a critical local skilled workforce challenge that enabled Intel's multi-billion dollar plant expansion and the hiring of 2,000+ workers. The training program engaged seven community colleges from outside the traditional urban hiring area to train workers to meet the workforce demand. Without this program, Intel would have expanded its operations elsewhere. Following the program's smash success, Intel exported and implemented this regionally expanded workforce development model to its plants worldwide. Results: New multi-billion investment and thousands of high paying construction, operations, and manufacturing jobs. New training model used globally, empowering thousands more people and solving critcal labor force issues.
Substantial endowments of key entrepreneurial university chairs have been a proven model to alter and grow regional economies. Think California's Silicon Valley and the endowed chairs at Stanford and UC Berkeley. Think Boston and its chairs at MIT, Harvard, and 60+ universities in a 100-mile radius. Think North Carolina's Research Triangle and its Duke, Wake Forest, UNC, and NCSU. Think Austin and its UT. Endowing illustrious chairs draws students and their budding ideas which become the Googles in their regions. Because of Burge's entrepre-missionary stirrings about endowing such chairs at NM universities and his newspaper columns touting this gateway strategy, he was recruited to be the industry co-chair to head up the NM Council of University President's new endowed chairs development program. Results: The new Endowment for University Excellence program raised a legacy $20 million+ in evergreen resources to kick off and support endowed chairs and lecturers at 25 colleges and universities statewide. Full economic impacts of these investments take decades to manifest but the boat is on the water.
Adelante and PMS each promote and provide health and well-being to some of the most challenged populations. Adelante works with citizens with disabilities in need for healthcare, living environments, and employment opportunities. PMS's regional health clinics and Head Start programs reach the most impoverished citizens who otherwise lack healthcare and educational access. Burge introduced both organizations to new growth funding sources that dramatically expanded their services with society's most needy groups. Adelante programs were featured on NBC Nightly News. Results: Year-on-year program growth adding substantial new and sustained operational and financial resources. These benefits have added up to $30-40 million+ and hundreds of new jobs over 15+ years of programmatic investments and actions.
Maximizing the strengths in local businesses and economies demands that these firms tap into and leverage all available sales opportunities for their goods and services. Burge, as NMSBDC statewide board chair, initiated the implementation of the DOD's regional PTAP program to help small businesses train for and deliver on public and private contracting opportunities to grow their businesses. Results: The NMSBDC statewide network developed seven PTAP partner sites at local SBDCs and hired new staff to power up the procurement training across the state. The PTAP program added $600K+ to the annual NMSBDC budget, a net PTAP budget total now approaching $6 million in new cumulative funding over the life of the program. Hundreds of SBDC/PTAP clients have used these services to expand their businesses.
Burge changed the global cardboard recycling industry. Working with a site selection consultant representing an Australian paper company seeking a location for what became the $100 million dollar McKinley Paper cardboard recycling plant, their exchange drew on Burge's intersectional knowledge depth. The project specs required rail access and purchasing substantial volumes of natural gas to burn to make steam to break down the cardboard in the process. Burge proposed using waste steam from the rail-served Plains Electric's Prewitt Generating Station instead of buying and burning natural gas. The paper company or the industry had never considered setting up such a steam-driven cogen system. Pursuing this option the company built the facility, saved millions in fuel costs, and exported the idea to paper recycling plants around the world. The Australian company sold subsequently the McKinley Paper operation to Bio-Pappel, a Mexican paper company. Results: The plant makes paperboard, operating 24/7, 365 days per year, with approximately 125 employees. It generates 225,000 tons of recycled paperboard annually – saving 17 trees per ton. Raw materials are delivered by box car and by semi truck. The plant processes 1,200 bales of cardboard a day (like those bales generated by grocery stores), drawing materials from across the western US. 40-60 trucks leave the plant loaded every day. BioPappel won the 2011 Pulp and Paper International Water Efficiency Award for its water recycling conservation program. (Info partially excerpted from Cibola Beacon, 3/16/2012)