LT. GOV. GUADAGNO TOUTS N.J. BUSINESSES IN VISITS TO TWO NORTH JERSEY FIRMS
By Karen Sudol/The Record
October 3, 2011
Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno continued to show the state government’s support for Garden State businesses by visiting two companies in North Jersey on Monday as part of a statewide tour of 100 establishments.
Monday’s visits to SGS North America in Rutherford and American Fittings Corporation in Fair Lawn were the 68th and 69th, respectively, on the tour designed to highlight businesses and emphasize the administration’s backing for economic growth and development in the state.
Guadagno toured both company headquarters and met behind closed doors with executives to discuss concerns, issues and successes.
She told company executives to contact her if they have any problems doing business within the state.
The first stop was SGS North America, a world leader in inspection, verification, certification and testing that’s been headquartered in Rutherford since 2003. Guadagno said the group discussed property taxes and privatization. She also received feedback on conditions that make it harder to conduct business in the state.
The company employs 420 in New Jersey and plans to create 100 more jobs here, said Jeffrey McDonald, SGS North America’s chief operating officer. SGS North America also is expanding and renovating a Fairfield laboratory and building a testing facility in Carteret, company executives said.
“Not only are they staying in New Jersey, but they’re growing in New Jersey,” Guadagno said. “They’re making it work here, and I appreciate that.”
Guadagno then traveled to the new Fair Lawn headquarters of American Fittings Corporation, which manufactures electrical conduit fittings. She walked through the warehouse rooms as Allen Fischbein, the company president, explained how the firm turns steel into parts.
The family-owned business had operated out of Westwood since 1946, but relocated to Fair Lawn earlier this year to accommodate its growth, said Bill Simmel, vice president of marketing. The business has grown from 33 employees in 2005 to 122 now.
When it moved, Simmel said, American Fittings wrote a letter to the governor’s office asking if it would be interested in a look at the facility. Guadagno decided to visit.
The company had a chance to relocate to China years ago but decided to stay and compete in New Jersey, said Fischbein.
Guadagno said of American Fittings Corporation that “Not only can you make it in the United States, but you can make it here in New Jersey, and you can do it better and you can hire people in a recession. It debunks the myth that you can’t make it in the United States anymore.”