Regional Investment

Princeton University contributes to the economic vitality of New Jersey, and in particular the Princeton area, as a major employer, a buyer of goods and services from New Jersey companies, and a sponsor of construction projects. 

Catalyst for Achievement

Princeton University consistently ranks among the largest, most stable employers in Mercer County with a workforce of more than 6,900 employees - more than 80 percent of whom live and pay taxes in New Jersey.  In fiscal year 2015, the University paid nearly $602 million in employee salaries and $24.8 million in New Jersey state income and unemployment insurance taxes and paid family leave insurance.  The University provides generous employee benefits - including $2.4 million in disability benefits paid in FY2015 - that relieve the burden on state resources and make Princeton a desirable place to work.

Of Princeton's 6,906 employees in fiscal year 2015, 35% reside in the Princeton area, 23% reside elsewhere in Mercer County, 23% reside elsewhere in NJ, and 19% reside outside of New Jersey.

Robin Fitzgerald-Frink

Meet an Employee: Robin Fitzgerald-Frink
Administrative assistant, Office of Research and Project Administration

When Robin Fitzgerald-Frink moved to New Jersey from Los Angeles in 1997, she was a single mom caring for two small children. What began as a brief stint in an academic department has evolved in to a long-time role as an administrative assistant and office manager in the Office of Research and Project Administration. After marrying and having two additional children, Princeton’s tuition benefit program not only helped Robin and her two older children attend college; the University also covered part of her preschooler’s day care costs. In addition, the CareBridge program helped Robin provide periodic in-home care for her ailing mother in California.

“I had an uncle who worked at Princeton for more than 30 years....I came here because I knew it was good for him and his family. His grandson now is a student here. My family as a whole has come full circle in our pursuit for a better life. It’s why we consider the University to be family. It’s a whole community.

For me, the University has been a blessing, both for the financial stability it provides and for the many relationships I’ve developed. I’ve had so many opportunities to grow and do things that I’ve loved doing.”

Photo by Denise Applewhite

Catalyst for Opportunity

Princeton is a major purchaser of equipment, goods and services that advance its education and research mission, and it places a premium on relationships with local and regional suppliers.  In fiscal year 2015, the University spent more than $453.6 million on purchases of goods and services, of which more than $51.5 million was paid to Mercer County businesses and nearly $137.3 million to New Jersey vendors. 

As part of Princeton's institution-wide commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion, the University's procurement efforts make supplier diversity an integral part of the way in which it does business.  The University is proud to count an increasing number of minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, and small business enterprises among its suppliers.

Princeton spent $453 million in total on goods and services in fiscal year 2015.  $137.3 million was paid to businesses in NJ.  Of that, $35 million paid to Princeton area businesses and $16 million to businesses in the rest of Mercer County.


Truck and employees from AgriArk in Hopewell, NJ

Rob Wisniewski
Founder and CEO, AgriArk, Hopewell, NJ

In 2015, the University contracted with AgriArk to haul away food waste from Princeton's residential college dining halls.  Once that material reaches AgriArk's farm, it is processed into a variety of organic soil and hydroponic amendments that yield more nutrient-dense, pest-resistant crops and healthier animal feeds.  The University's clean, consistent supply of food waste has allowed the company to efficiently test and refine its method of creating rich, biologically diverse soils as a renewable technology.  Within the next year, AgriArk expects to bring its products to market. 

"We get to source a clean food waste stream and we provide Princeton a great service in return.  Our trucks are there six days a week throughout the year, rain or shine.

Working with Princeton has been instrumental in allowing us to test our technology consistently and effectively. The University is our largest multiyear contract, which has helped us access greater support from financial institutions, and provided validation that we're a functional and sustainable business."

Photo by Denise Applewhite

Catalyst for Progress

Princeton University is housed on an historic campus that has evolved over the centuries to keep pace with advancements in society, in technology and in new fields of study.  In fiscal year 2015, the University spent a total of $318.1 million on construction and maintenance projects.  Of this, $136.6 million was paid to businesses in New Jersey, including $22 million paid to businesses in Mercer County.  From fiscal year 2007 to fiscal year 2015, the University invested nearly $2.5 billion in construction and maintenance projects, guided by the 2006-2016 Campus Plan.  Over the next five years, the University projects that it will spend at least $1 billion on maintenance and construction, not including major construction projects that will be included in its new 2026 Campus Plan.


Princeton spent $453 million in total on goods and services in fiscal year 2015.  $137.3 million was paid to businesses in NJ.  Of that, $35 million paid to Princeton area businesses and $16 million to businesses in the rest of Mercer County.


Robert Hearn, President of Ricasoli & Sons in Mercerville, NJ

Robert Hearn
President, Ricasoli & Santin, Mercerville, NJ

Ricasoli & Santin has worked on new construction and renovation projects on the Princeton campus for roughly 30 years.  The validation and prestige that comes with having the University as a long-term client has helped the firm grow its business and weather shifts in the region's economy with greater stability.

"The University is a constant in an un-constant economy.  Knowing that we'll be invited to provide pricing and construction work for Princeton has definitely helped us.  The downturn in the economy hit us hard about eight years ago, and the fact that the University goes out of its way to use local and small businesses has been a great source of stability to us as a local contractor."

Photo by Denise Applewhite