Tim Sullivan, chief executive officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, gave a discussion about the innovation economy that includes investing in manufacturing.
Sullivan began by establishing that New Jersey boasts an economy of $634 billion in terms of gross domestic product.
The most precious commodity in the 21st century is talent.
“New Jersey has extraordinary infrastructure with challenges at New Jersey Transit notwithstanding,” Sullivan said.
But New Jersey was nearly last in the United States between the years 2007 and 2017 as measured in terms of growth of wages. Sullivan wants to close racial and gender wage gaps, create 300,000 jobs by the year 2025, and attack poverty from an economic development perspective.
“Gov. Murphy’s economic development plan includes 70 initiatives,” Sullivan said. “The plan starts with investing in people and investing in workforce development. The most precious commodity in the 21st century is talent.”
“If talent is the most precious thing in the economy, then we have to have a diverse offering of communities where people want to live,” Sullivan said. “Investing in communities is also about investing in infrastructure. If the Gateway tunnels fail, then one-fifth of the national economy stops.”
Sullivan explained that New Jersey has not seen many companies grow from two employees to 100 employees during the last 25 years.
“Advanced manufacturing is one of those industries we are focusing on,” Sullivan said. “Incentives are a tool in our tool kit.”
More from the 2019 NJMEP State of the State of Manufacturing:
- Manufacturing apprenticeships and workforce development take center stage at NJMEP event
- Manufacturing connections: Reduce over-regulations, lower the cost of doing business
- NJMEP state of the state: Skilled workforce key, but high taxes hurt
- Sweeney delivers keynote at 2019 NJMEP State of the State
- Sherrill: NJMEP produces return on investment of 14.5 to 1
- Manufacturing challenges examined: Minimum wage, attracting skilled employees