Stronger and Fairer Update
5 Reasons Why You Should Consider A Career in Manufacturing
Today’s advanced manufacturing sector is thriving in New Jersey. The industry contains many excellent pathways for students to launch well-paid, exciting careers. Currently, there are significant shortages in New Jersey’s talent pipeline, leaving many good-paying jobs unfilled. Unfortunately, outdated perceptions of manufacturing as dirty or dangerous persist, and this is causing many students and young workers to pass up good opportunities in the industry. Here are five reasons to consider advanced manufacturing. https://medium.com/@NewJerseyEDA/5-reasons-you-should-consider-a-career-in-advanced-manufacturing-355e1ae03a5f
Investment in People
New Jersey’s manufacturing industry produces more than $31 billion in economic output every year and employs more than 160,000 New Jersey workers. The industry is one of eight focus sectors identified in Governor Phil Murphy’s economic plan. However, it has faced increasing barriers to growth as an aging workforce and a shortage of young workers shrinks the number of qualified employees available to manufacturing companies. As part of Governor Murphy’s vision for investing in people, the NJEDA is working on several fronts to address this problem and support New Jersey’s “workforce of the future.”
Elected officials, industry leaders, and students gathered at Ocean County Vocational Technical School (OCVTS) to celebrate a partnership between the NJEDA and OCVTS through which the NJEDA will fund field trips for middle and high school students from varied socio-economic backgrounds to tour advanced manufacturing facilities in Ocean County. The first trip is scheduled for Friday, June 7 and will consist of visits to three participating manufacturing firms in Jackson, New Jersey. Additional field trips aimed at various age groups are tentatively planned for Fall 2019.
The NJEDA and the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP) also announced plans to expand the NJMEP’s Manufacturing Resource Guide. The expanded guide will provide additional resources and information to support manufacturing companies’ growth, including upskilling opportunities for manufacturing workers at community colleges and vocational schools; NJMEP training courses and apprenticeship programs; and contact information for government agencies, such as the Department of Labor, NJEDA, and the Business Action Center, that offer workforce development and financing services.
Investment in Communities
Three new initiatives that will help to revitalize Brownfield sites are advancing in line with Governor Phil Murphy’s goal of supporting greater investment in New Jersey cities and under-served communities.
A new Brownfields Loan Program will provide low-interest financing to help complete remediation of vacant or underutilized brownfields sites, paving the way for these sites to be returned to productive use and Governor Murphy has also proposed a complementary Brownfields Redevelopment Tax Credit program.
To provide ground-level support on brownfields redevelopment and urban revitalization efforts to a wider range of targeted urban areas the NJEDA and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced an agreement to expand the Community Collaborative Initiative (CCI). The CCI embeds DEP staff at the ground-level within communities, where they help communities to address environmental concerns effectively and appropriately. In addition to the cities where CCI is currently operating – Bayonne, Camden, Perth Amboy and Trenton—the initiative will be expanded to new municipalities around the state, including Newark and Paterson.
Applications for another program that serves to attract businesses and investment in under-served communities are now available. The Small Business Lease Assistance Program reimburses small businesses a portion of annual lease payments for new or additional space leased in targeted cities around the state. The program is available in thirteen cities including the five legislatively-designated Garden State Growth Zones (GSGZs) and eight Urban Enterprise Zones (UEZs) with Main Streets as designated by the NJ Department of Community Affairs. Prior to the program’s expansion, two registered pharmacists were encouraged to establish a 1,400-square-foot independently-owned pharmacy in Trenton’s Mill Hill neighborhood, along with many other businesses in eligible areas.
Making New Jersey the State of Innovation
Progress toward Governor Murphy’s vision for Making New Jersey the State of Innovation is evident, based recently announced initiatives. Through the second round of the Innovation Challenge, the NJEDA will award $100,000 to Cape May County, Hoboken, Newark, Paterson, and Plainfield. Nine municipalities selected under the first round will also receive grants to advance plans to strengthen their local innovation ecosystems.
NJEDA’s Ignite program also added three female-led collaborative workspaces to the list of entities that can offer rent support to startups moving into their facilities. Indiegrove, Princeton Innovation Center Biolabs (PICb), and CoWork Street joined eleven other collaborative workspaces in the program.
The New Jersey Offshore Wind Supply Chain Registry, announced by Governor Murphy, in April, will offer a free online portal where investors exploring offshore wind-related projects in New Jersey can find Jersey-based companies to partner with or purchase from. The registry was announced in front of a packed house at the Business Network for Offshore Wind’s International Partnering Forum.
Making Government Easy to Do Business With
The NJEDA’s commitment to Governor Murphy’s goal of better supporting small businesses recently led to the expansion of two unique companies in the State. Flybar, the Original Pogo Stick company moved from New York to Howell with the support of an OceanFirst Bank loan with an NJEDA participation through the Premier Lender Program. In New Providence, financing provided by Provident Bank and the NJEDA enabled family-owned-and-operated gourmet and German specialty food store Barth’s Market to expand following years of growth.
To support Governor Murphy’s commitment to making government “easier to do business with,” New Jersey Department of the Treasury and the NJEDA hosted a second opportunity forum in April to help small, women, minority, and veteran-owned (SMWVBE) subcontracting companies explore opportunities to work on the new state office building projects underway in Trenton. More than 80 business owners attended the event, where representatives from Turner and Torcon—the developers overseeing the construction projects— detailed available subcontractor jobs, while representatives from Department of the Treasury, the NJ Business Action Center, the Department of Labor, the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, the Veterans Chamber of Commerce, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion provided information on steps subcontractors must take to qualify for these jobs and bid on projects. More than half of professional service providers and subcontractors on the project to date are SMWVBEs. For more information, visit https://nj.gov/trentonconstructionupdates.