Urban Innovation

Community is at Our Core

Audible’s urban innovation initiatives support policies and solutions that help make the communities we operate in more equitable, resilient and prosperous for all residents.

From working to expand innovation corridors to creating vibrant, 24/7 streetscapes, we collaborate with leaders to attract investment and development while supporting local businesses. In our hometown of Newark, New Jersey, the result has been a thriving neighborhood activated with events, dining, and entertainment that is of Newark and for Newark. Our work in this great American city provides a blueprint for our offices in the other cities we call home and serves as an example of how to put investment and innovation to work for all of our neighbors.

Urban Impact

1+

30,000+ meals have been served through our Lunch Out Wednesday program.

1 in 6

1 in 6 of Audible’s headquarters employees live in Newark, New Jersey.

1%

65% of Audible employees in the Live Local program have moved to Newark since joining Audible.

1 in 5

2 in 5 customer care employees are hired through recruiting activities in Newark.

A man carries his small yorkie dog, who is wearing a red leash, through a lobby in Newark. He is smiling and wearing a white button down shirt and grey blazer.
A close up of the front of the Audible Innovation Cathedral in downtown Newark with the street beyond it.
Two women stand shaking hands in front of a whiteboard as if at the end of a job interview. One holds a three ring binder with Audible written across the front.
A train pulls into Broad Street Station in Newark, which is only blocks from Newark's headquarters. A billboard about Audible lines the platform.
Three Audible employees sit at a lunch counter in a row eating their salads. A lunch out wednesday card sits by one of the employees' meals.

24/7 Innovation District

Audible’s founder, Don Katz, has made creating urban equality a defining purpose for our company. Inspired by Newark’s spirit of innovation and resilience, we work hand-in-hand with the local community to bring meaningful change to downtown and beyond.

Many of our efforts are centered around Washington Park, where we’ve worked with the City of Newark, Rutgers-Newark and other educational, corporate, civic and cultural institutions to increase walkability, safety and beautification for the whole community. We’ve leveraged our presence, reputation and network to spark investment and development on behalf of the city. We’ve also contributed to the creation of Newark’s free public Wi-Fi network in Washington Park and Military Park, the expansion of city greenspaces, and the Sensory Lab installation, which included scheduled programming (concerts, classes, camps and more) for residents of all ages.

Audible restored and transformed a city landmark—a historic 80,000 square foot church—into a state-of-the-art technology center while preserving many of its historic elements, including its distinctive stained-glass windows, organ pipes and bowling alley. Don Katz also started Newark Venture Partners, a venture capital firm that has invested in local companies and brought more than 90 promising tech startups to Newark, bringing more jobs and increased foot traffic along with them.

As we reimagine our Newark headquarters for the return to work post-pandemic, the Newark Artist Collaboration is tapping into our community’s artists and makers to commission immersive, homegrown ideas–from street level audio activations and lighting installations to local street art collaborations.

Our Stories

Buy Local

Before the pandemic, our Lunch Out Wednesday (LOW) program subsidized hundreds of employees each week to “lunch out” at local restaurants. This program increased employee engagement within the neighborhood and helped support Newark’s retail economy. According to Luis Valls-Amabile, owner of Fresh Coast, “Audible really helped us get our name out...and it’s really made a huge difference.”

Many participating restaurants echo Luis’s sentiment, and reported serving hundreds of additional customers and making thousands of dollars more in sales each month. When the pandemic hit, our dedication to these restaurants continued through Newark Working Kitchens. A citywide collaboration, the meal delivery program has sustained hundreds of jobs and kept beloved restaurants open by hiring them to cook and deliver free meals to thousands of residents in need.

Audible employee Marlesha Ross stands in the front of the frame wearing a blue shirt with gold links designed on it with Audible's large cafeteria in its Newark office blurred in the background.

Marlesha Ross Finds a Home at Audible

A year ago, Marlesha Ross was moving between temporary shelters with her daughter, unsure if she could find a good job opportunity in her hometown of Newark. A meeting with an Audible recruiter changed all that. Learn how Ross has made a home at Audible.

Learn More

Hire Local

Outstanding candidates are closer than many companies think. We’re passionate about developing a talent pipeline and recruiting from the communities we call home. Our Future Leaders program gives Newark high school students hands-on skill development through internships, where they work side-by-side with Audible employees. Our development workshops, collaborations with nonprofits like Per Scholas that train people for tech sector jobs, and customer care community recruiting help build a strong pool of qualified local candidates for Audible and other companies in Newark.

Two in five customer care employees are hired through Audible’s recruiting efforts in Newark and collaboration with community and workforce organizations, including Newark Works, Covenant House, Veterans Administration, and Newark Public Schools. The program prepares job seekers for the hiring process with résumé reviews and mock interviews, and boosts their job readiness with workshops on effective communication, critical thinking, and time management. Not only does this help candidates build the skills necessary for careers at Audible, it gives them the tools they need to succeed at other Newark companies, strengthening the city’s future as a center of innovation.

I never felt that there would be lucrative employment within Newark. Once I met with [the Audible] team they gave me the initiative, the boost in skills, that was necessary to go through this process. I value the commitment Audible has taken on within the community.

Denise DavisCustomer Service Operations

Our Community

Two men sit at a table in a park in Newark. They are working on laptops and laughing. A carousel is in motion behind them.
A woman stands at a counter in a restaurant ordering lunch, an Audible Lunch Out Wednesday card in her hand. Behind the counter, a row of employees are putting salads together.
A couple sits on the steps in their Newark home holding their baby.
An installation is in progress in Washington Park in downtown Newark. Blue and yellow platforms are spread over the ground along with blue planters. In the background people are working to put the platforms in place.
A big clock stands on top of a pole, the word Newark in bright gold letters across the top. A park and office buildings are in the background behind it.

Live Local

We want our employees to support the local economy and be active members of the community. We created the Live Local program to provide all Audible employees living in Newark with a $500 a month post-tax subsidy toward their housing expenses. The program has tripled the number of Audible employees who live in Newark and infuses an estimated $424,000 annually into the local economy for every 10 Live Local participants.

Audible also provides employees tickets to NJPAC and Prudential Center events, including NJ Devils hockey games, and Newark Museum of Art memberships to encourage employees to explore the city’s cultural institutions and support local artists and makers.

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