The New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program is an important fixture in the state’s economic firmament. The organization aims to improve the profitability and competitiveness of manufacturers by helping businesses adopt new technologies, increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve employee performance. NJMEP claims to have realized more than $7 billion in value over its 20-year history.
For nearly half of that history, the organization was led by CEO John Kennedy, who himself became the voice – and face – of manufacturing in New Jersey. Kennedy retired earlier this year and was succeeded by Peter Connolly, who boasts four decades of executive experience in operations, business development, and general management in the aerospace and defense industry. He also chaired NJMEP’s board more than 12 years.
In this edition of NJBIZ Conversations, Connolly discusses the challenges facing manufacturers in New Jersey, what his priorities are for NJMEP and what it means to replace a prominent leader in the industry.