Marlton-based Wolf Commercial Real Estate recently announced it represented South Jersey Racquet Center LLC in the leasing and marketing of a 26,000-square-foot flex space in Mount Laurel.Marlton-based Wolf Commercial Real Estate recently announced it represented South Jersey Racquet Center LLC in the leasing and marketing of a 26,000-square-foot flex space in Mount Laurel.
WCRE Vice President Christopher Henderson signed Warrior Gyms of Camden County for 14 Federal St. at the intersection of Interstate 295 and Route 73. The property is a former tennis center, and has 13,000 square feet of space still available.
Henderson represented both parties in the transaction.
Warrior Gyms specializes in parkour, fitness, rock climbing, Ninja training and obstacle courses.
Life Time Fitness and Walmart recently joined the area.
RCM Technologies Inc., a Pennsauken-based provider of business and technology solutions, has acquired a Long Island-based engineering firm, it announced recently.RCM Technologies Inc., a Pennsauken-based provider of business and technology solutions, has acquired a Long Island-based engineering firm, it announced recently.
RCM, which specializes in the advanced engineering, information technology and specialty health care sectors, acquired certain assets of RAF Services Inc., it said in a news release.
“RAF specializes in turnkey above-ground tank inspection, repair and cleaning services, as well as concrete, steel, masonry and roofing routine maintenance inspection and design,” RCM President Rocco Campanelli said in a prepared statement. “Their services range from development of individual work packages to the generation of complete bid and construction packages for new facilities and major facility upgrades.”
RAF personnel will join RCM’s engineering team, the company said.
“I’ve worked with RCM Technologies since I formed the company, and both of our cultures are very much aligned; we strive to deliver a quality product safely, on time, on budget and value client satisfaction above all else,” RAF President Bob Friess said in a statement.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
An Ohio packaging solutions company has acquired a Moorestown-based provider of rotary labeling and coding solutions, it announced Monday.Pro Mach Inc., based in the Cincinnati area, said in a news release that the deal for Weiler Labeling Systems will expand its capabilities in the pharmaceutical and medical packaging area.
“We’re pleased to welcome the Weiler team to Pro Mach,” Michel Lapierre, president of Pro Mach’s pharmaceutical packaging group. “Weiler has built a stellar reputation among the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, and their solutions are a great addition to our product portfolio.”
Weiler President Ted Geiselman will become vice president and general manager with Pro Mach, and the latter company said it would continue to invest in Weiler’s workforce and operations to strengthen its portfolio and accelerate growth in key markets.
“Pro Mach’s reputation for continued investment in their brands as well as bundling solutions to better serve customers played a big part in getting this deal done,” Geiselman said in a prepared statement. “We wanted to be a part of the Pro Mach team so we could create additional value for our customers as well as create new opportunities to expand our business.”
Added Pro Mach CEO and President Mark Anderson: “We continue to add organizations that bring a great deal of experience and success in different aspects of packaging line creation and performance. We’re delighted about the unique advantages Weiler solutions bring, especially when combined with our vast product portfolio that starts at the filler and runs all the way to the end of the packaging line.”
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
What would happen if Gov. Chris Christie does, in fact, get his hands on some of the reserves of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey?What would happen if Gov. Chris Christie does, in fact, get his hands on some of the reserves of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey?
The company will have its credit rating downgraded. So says Standard & Poor, which knows a thing or two about downgrading credit ratings in New Jersey.
In a report released Thursday, S&P said: “We could lower our ratings in the next 12-24 months if weak earnings result in (earnings before interest and taxes return on revenue) of less than 1.2 percent for a sustained period or if capital adequacy falls below the ‘AA’ level from its current ‘AAA’ level.”
But, on the flip side, the agency said, “We could raise our ratings … if the company sustains margins above 2.5 percent to 3 percent while boosting capital redundancy at the ‘AAA’ level (greater than 15 percent).”
The same company gave New Jersey its 10th (of the current 11) credit downgrade on Christie’s watch.
The report Thursday took into account the ongoing battle with the governor, saying:
“In our view, Horizon BCBSNJ’s risk position is moderate reflecting its business concentration in a single state. We believe this poses additional risk of earnings and capital volatility since it exposes the company to regulatory and legal conditions in the state.
“For example, Horizon BCBSNJ is in a dispute over a request for funds by Gov. Chris Christie from the group’s capital reserves. Specifically, the governor has proposed establishing a permanent fund that Horizon BCBSNJ would pay into every year to cover drug treatment for the poor and uninsured. The company has not agreed to this proposal and believes the state does not have legal authority to extract funds without legislation.
“We have not included any capital outflows to the state in our base-case capital forecast due to our uncertainty regarding the ultimate outcome of this situation, but view any such event as a source of potential capital volatility.”
Businesses in the South Jersey area have confidence the economy is improving, according to the latest monthly report by the Federal Reserve in Philadelphia.Businesses in the South Jersey area have confidence the economy is improving, according to the latest monthly report by the Federal Reserve in Philadelphia.
Firms responding to April’s Nonmanufacturing Business Outlook Survey reported that regional nonmanufacturing activity continued to expand, the Fed said.
According to the survey, the index for current firm-level activity rose slightly, while the indexes for new orders, sales/revenues and employment increased by greater amounts. Both the prices paid and prices received indexes also increased from the prior month. The respondents remained optimistic about activity over the next six months.
Here’s a look at the report’s findings:
New growth: The index for general activity at the firm level edged up from 32.5 in March to 34.9 in April, the Fed reported. This index has been above its historical average of 28.5 for four consecutive months.
Nearly 48 percent of the firms reported increases in activity this month, compared with 13 percent that reported decreases. The regional activity index fell 5 points, to 30.1, but remains above its historical average of 23.0.
New sales: The indicators for new orders and sales/revenues showed improvement, as more firms reported increases in both categories this month compared with last month. The new orders index rose from 22.6 in March to 33.5 in April, its highest reading since February 2015.
The sales/revenues index also improved, rising 14 points, to 34.7. More than 50 percent of the firms indicated higher sales/revenues, up from 36 percent in March, while 15 percent of the firms reported a decrease.
Employment: The indicators for employment rose in April. The full-time employment index increased 9 points, to 26.4. Almost 31 percent of the firms reported an increase in full-time employment, up 6 points from March. Only 4 percent of the firms reported a decline.
The part-time employment index rose 14 points, to 24.3. The increase in the part-time employment index was largely driven by a rise in the share of firms reporting an increase, from 20 percent in March to 30 percent in April.
The wage and benefit costs indicator rose 17 points to 39.3 in April, as a higher percentage of firms reported increases this month (40 percent) than last month (27 percent). The average workweek index held relatively steady at 20.
The Nonmanufacturing Business Outlook Survey is a monthly survey of nonmanufacturers in the Third Federal Reserve District.
Participants indicate the direction of change in overall business activity and in the various measures of activity at their firms, including new orders, sales or revenues, employment, prices and capital expenditures. Respondents also provide their assessments of general business conditions over the next six months. The survey has been conducted each month since March 2011.
Walmart is hiring about 300 workers for a new retail store in Egg Harbor Township, it announced Tuesday.Walmart is hiring about 300 workers for a new retail store in Egg Harbor Township, it announced Tuesday.
The Arkansas-based retail giant said in a statement that it has opened a temporary hiring center at 3100 Hingston Ave. in the Merrill Lynch and AMI Medical complex to handle interested applicants from the Atlantic County region. Those seeking positions can visit the center from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday, or click here for an online application.
The store will open in the summer, Walmart said, with most new hires beginning in June to prepare for the grand opening.
“We are excited to meet applicants and build a team to serve our friends and neighbors in the Egg Harbor Township community,” Russell Mackel, the store manager, said in a prepared statement.
Mackel said he is looking for both full- and part-time employees.
Walmart said it has more than 20,000 associates in New Jersey.
As Amazon formally opened the doors Friday to its largest New Jersey-based fulfillment center in Carteret, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant also announced plans to open another three sites in the Garden State that call for the creation of more than 2,500 additional full-time jobs.As Amazon formally opened the doors Friday to its largest New Jersey-based fulfillment center in Carteret, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant also announced plans to open another three sites in the Garden State that call for the creation of more than 2,500 additional full-time jobs.
The new fulfillment centers will be in Logan Township, Edison and Cranbury.
The newly opened 1 million-square-foot Carteret facility, which was visited Friday by Gov. Chris Christie, houses over 2,000 employees and will serve as a main hub for the company’s shipping needs throughout the region.
While the planned 1 million-square-foot Logan Township and 900,000-square-foot Cranbury locations will be used to pick, pack and ship larger customer orders like furniture and music equipment, Amazon says the 900,000-square-foot Edison site will focus on smaller items, like books and toys.
Amazon already has one facility in Logan Township.
“We applaud Amazon for investing in several expansions throughout New Jersey and for creating greater opportunities for our high-quality workforce,” said Christie. “Today’s great news is no accident or coincidence. Over the last seven-plus years, my administration has lowered a variety of taxes, improved New Jersey’s business climate, increased the number of well-paying jobs and grown the overall economy. Amazon’s action should encourage even more employers to benefit from all New Jersey has to offer.”
Since first announcing its plans in 2012 to open distribution warehouses in New Jersey, the company’s state-based workforce has grown to over 13,000 full-time employees spread across sites in Robbinsville, Avenel, Florence, Carteret and Logan Township.
“Our ability to expand in New Jersey is the result of two things: incredible customers and an outstanding workforce,” said Amazon Vice President of North American Operations Akash Chauhan. “We are excited to continue growing by creating an additional 2,500 full-time roles at new fulfillment centers across the state.”
The Camden metro area came in on top among the nation’s metropolitan regions as the area which had the largest over-the-year percentage growth in employment, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.The BLS data cited that the Camden metro area’s nonfarm employment increased by 3.7 percent from February 2016 to February 2017.
The BLS compared data from 34 of the 38 metropolitan divisions nationwide, including all five metro areas that cover New Jersey, putting Camden at the top, just above Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas.
The Top 10 metro areas are as follows:
- Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas
- Philadelphia, Pennslyvania
- Seattle-Bellevue-Everette, Washington
- Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
- Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, Florida
- Tacoma-Lakewood, Washington
- San Fransisco-Redwood City-South San Fransisco, California
- Nassau County-Suffolk County, New York
- Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, Maryland
After several months of reported growth, New Jersey lost approximately 17,500 total non-farm jobs in March, according to new data released by the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.Contributing to the contraction was a decrease in roughly 19,100 private-sector jobs, most prominently in sectors involving leisure and hospitality, as well as trade, transportation and utilities. Some 1,600 public-sector positions were added last month.
Still, state economists celebrated a continued drop in New Jersey’s unemployment rate, which fell minimally for a fourth straight month to 4.2 percent, below the national average of 4.5 percent.
According to the state, last month’s unemployment rate is the lowest seen since May 2007.
“New Jersey’s economic recovery continues, with a 10-year low unemployment rate that is better than the national average and a record number of employed New Jerseyans,” said James Wooster, LWD chief economist. “On a month-to-month basis, the payroll employment numbers often demonstrate a certain instability, especially for the initial estimates. However, the overall trend of growth and recovery shows no real sign of abating.”
The new jobs report also noted that employment figures for February, which previously signaled an increase in 12,600 total non-farm jobs, were revised to reflect an increase of just 10,900 positions.
A report out of the University of Chicago has validated what many in the state seek in solving the out-of-network debate: standard reimbursement rates from the independent organization FAIR Health.(Editor’s note: This report was updated at 1:20 p.m. with additional information.)
A report out of the University of Chicago has validated what many in the state seek in solving the out-of-network debate: standard reimbursement rates from the independent organization FAIR Health.
How to reimburse surprise bills has been one of the most contentious points in the out-of-network debate in Trenton in the past year.
Oscillating between arbitration and capping rates at 250 percent of Medicare, state legislators have been unable to find a solution that makes all stakeholders happy.
Sen. Joe Vitale (D-Woodbridge), chair of the Senate health committee, said recently that arbitration was the fairest option.
Assemblyman Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge) said arbitration and FAIR Health aren’t mutually exclusive.
The new report released Friday from NORC at the University of Chicago supports rates from the national transparency advocate FAIR Health as fairest of them all.
The report was done in collaboration with Physicians for Fair Coverage, which has been advocating for the use of the FAIR Health rates since its inception in June 2016.
Michele Kimball, CEO of Physicians for Fair Coverage, said she is aware of New Jersey’s eight-year struggle to get a law on the books to protect patients from surprise balance bills.
“Legislators across the country are recognizing that surprise insurance gaps are leaving patients exposed,” she said. “As they work to close these gaps caused by insurers narrowing physician networks, this NORC analysis demonstrates that using the FAIR Health database to better understand for out-of-network payments is the more comprehensive, transparent and inexpensive avenue for legislators compared to any other national or state database.”
Her sentiments were echoed by Mishael Azam, chief operating officer of the Medical Society of New Jersey, who said that the state’s Department of Banking and Insurance has taken the step in the right direction using FAIR Health for laws already on the books — without waiting for legislation.
“New Jersey was ahead of the curve in establishing patient protections decades ago,” Azam said. “The law states that any patient touched by an out-of-network provider in an in-network facility is only responsible for the in-network payment amount. This is a really big deal and a huge patient protection.
“On the back end, once the patient is held harmless, we have a dispute resolution program. The reason the (insurance) carriers wanted a new one is because of the way Maximus, the (current) arbitration vendor … applies the New Jersey hold (patients) harmless law. … Doctors were winning arbitrations and being awarded billed charges. However, as of November 2016, Maximus is no longer awarding billed charges. The most they will award is 90 percent of FAIR Health and they are advising doctors they cannot balance bill patients.”
The existing out-of-network bill seeks to use Medicare as a benchmark and cap payments to doctors at 250 percent of the government rates.
Kimball said: “Medicare was never meant to be a benchmark. Reimbursements are arbitrarily set based on the budget and politics, quite frankly.”
Kimball said she knows this firsthand from her time on the U.S. House Ways and Means Health subcommittee.
The caps based on Medicare, in New Jersey’s current out-of-network bill, look reasonable when the price is higher, but if the rates of Medicare reduce, that reduces what doctors and providers will be reimbursed, she said.
Neil Eicher, vice president of government relations and policy of New Jersey Hospital Association, also said FAIR is fair.
“We haven’t had a chance to review the report yet, but it doesn’t surprise us that FAIR Health would be tagged as the best database for reimbursing OON claims. It is a well-respected organization and has done a lot to bring transparency to the payments made by insurance carriers to providers,” he said.
Coughin said a draft of the latest version of the bill does include FAIR Health.
“Nothing is off the table,” he said, adding that the main components sought on previous versions remain front and center for legislators.
That includes accountability, transparency and ending balance billing.
NORC said it came to the conclusion of FAIR Health after reviewing state data of All Payer Claims Databases, Truven Health Analytics, Blue Health Intelligence and Health Care Cost Institute.
Physicians for Fair Coverage has previously been critical of two databases: HCCI and Optum360 — the latter of which declined to participate in the study because it is funded by major insurers in the country.
A RAND Corp. study funded by CarePoint Health late last year suggested that capping rates at 250 percent of Medicare would be too low.
The report from NORC stated the purpose of the study was to address affordability concerns caused by a gap in cost versus reimbursements from insurers and create an “appropriate and fair Minimum Benefit Standard for out-of-network services that establishes a charge-based reimbursement schedule connected to an independently recognized and verified database
Kimball said the report does reinforce PFC’s belief, but there was no request made to that effect.
NORC previously did a study that came to the same conclusion in 2014, she said.
The request PFC, which formed as a nonprofit in June last year, made was simply to expand and update the report.
If it had returned a different result, Kimball said the results would have still been circulated, “but not with as much fanfare.”
The Atlantic City Development Corp. hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the Gateway project on Thursday, with dignitaries including Gov. Chris Christie, ACDevco Chairman Jon Hanson, South Jersey Industries CEO Michael Renna and Stockton University President Harvey Kesselman.The Atlantic City Development Corp. hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the Gateway project on Thursday, with dignitaries including Gov. Chris Christie, ACDevco Chairman Jon Hanson, South Jersey Industries CEO Michael Renna and Stockton University President Harvey Kesselman.
“This 675,000-square-foot project is the first major non-casino development seen since the completion of The Walk, which, unbelievably, was 15 years ago,” the governor said. “More importantly, it is expected to generate 925 direct construction jobs and, once completed, the project will bring an additional 300 permanent jobs into Atlantic City.”
The $220 million project includes the redevelopment of a new South Jersey Gas headquarters, as well as a campus for Stockton University in the Chelsea neighborhood of Atlantic City. The South Jersey Gas headquarters component, a six-story tower with a shared parking garage, is expected to cost $50 million.
“For South Jersey industries, this was one of those rare times when need, an impact and an opportunity come together,” Renna said. “When the opportunity presented itself to come to Atlantic City, to come in when everybody else seemed to be wanting to go out, it was something that we couldn’t pass up. This is our home. We started in Atlantic City, so we’re really proud to be coming back. The energy that is in Atlantic City is like nothing I’ve seen in the 20 years I’ve lived here.”
The new headquarters is schedule to open next fall.
Stockton University’s new campus, which will cost $170 million and is also scheduled to open next fall, will include a retail and housing mixed-use facility able to accommodate 500 staff and students, a new academic building with classrooms and office space, and a parking structure that accommodates 880 parking spaces.
“Today, we take the first steps of a new journey,” Kesselman said. “One that recommits our intellectual promise to the residents of this city and all of southern New Jersey by establishing a new branch campus on the world’s most famous Boardwalk.”
Christie thanked the state Economic Development Authority for its involvement in the Gateway project.
The Stockton project received $68.3 million from the EDA and a $22 million grant from the Higher Education Capital Improvement Grant program.
South Jersey Gas received a $12.6 million Grow New Jersey tax abatement to return to Atlantic City.
Overall wage growth increased by 2.3 percent year over year across all industries in the first quarter of 2017, according to the ADP Workforce Vitality Report.Overall wage growth increased by 2.3 percent year over year across all industries in the first quarter of 2017, according to the ADP Workforce Vitality Report.
The Roseland-based company said this is somewhat lower than the 2.8 percent growth in wages reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The report, which tracks the same set of workers over time, “provides a more insightful picture of wage growth than overall wage growth.”
According to the study, job holder’ (people who stay in the same job for at least a year) wages were up by 4.3 percent and job switchers’ (people who change jobs) wages were up 3.6 percent year over year in the first quarter.
On average, job holders’ made $10 more hourly than job switchers, the study found. But when tracking full-time workers, job switchers increased their wages by an average of 5.2 percent when compared to job holders (4.3 percent).
Across all industries, the services sector is the most promising for job switchers compared to the goods sector, the report said. The information industry continued to offer the highest hourly wages, where job holders earned $45 an hour and job switchers earned $47 an hour. Meanwhile, full-time workers who switched jobs to the leisure and hospitality industry gained the most with an 8.5 percent increase in their wages.
“The information industry showed negative job growth in the first quarter,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, co-head of the ADP Research Institute, said. “As a result, job holders and job switchers in this industry are experiencing high wage growth, as employers seek to retain and attract top talent in this limited pool of workers.”
The study also found that the strongest wage growth can be found in the West, the leisure and hospitality industry, among women and younger workers, workers with little job tenure and those employed in larger companies.