JOHN REITMEYER | MAY 8, 2017
A new ‘manufacturing caucus’ looks to explore what companies need in terms of employees, education, training, and business opportunities — and help make sure they get it
Although not as dominant an industry as it was several decades ago, manufacturing is still a major part of the New Jersey economy, and a sector where a majority of employers have indicated they’re still looking to hire.
To help foster what could be a manufacturing renaissance in New Jersey — a state with a rich industrial history that dates to colonial days — state lawmakers are launching a new “manufacturing caucus” that will focus specifically on figuring out ways to craft policies that lead to increased productivity and growth for manufacturing.
The formation of the new caucus, which will involve lawmakers from both the Assembly and Senate, and from both political parties, was announced last week by Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester). The panel will hold a series of hearings this summer to help inform a legislative agenda that will be pursued in the fall as lawmakers return to the State House following this year’s legislative elections. The effort will be led by state Sen. Robert Gordon, whose own background includes working in his family’s yarn mill in Paterson.
“I think (manufacturing) is critically important to the state,” said Gordon (D-Bergen) in an interview with NJ Spotlight. “Manufacturing is still a very important component of our economy.”