Manufacturing is part of New Jersey’s history. From the Paterson textile plants that paved the way toward a prosperous nation to the life sciences industry that continues to call New Jersey its home, manufacturing is an economic stimulator. The Legislative Manufacturing Caucus of New Jersey was established to ensure this critical sector remains intact and supported.
Legislative Manufacturing Caucus of New Jersey This bi-partisan legislative group came together with a common goal in mind, bolster New Jersey manufacturing. Each member set out to support the industry. The support is justified by the undeniable impact manufacturing has on New Jersey’s economy and its working population. Manufacturing provides a fantastic source of high-paying jobs and career paths. It is also a massive contributing entity to the overall GPD of the state.
Statista revealed in a 2019 study that Manufacturing was ranked as the fifth-highest contributor to New Jersey’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) . Manufacturing contributed more than $49 billion to the economy. The New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program’s (NJMEP’s) 2019 Industry Report cited the average salary for an employee in the New Jersey manufacturing industry is $92,097.28 . Both these facts demonstrate the value this industry offers. A damaged reputation caused the industry to be largely ignored by the public. New Jersey remains an expensive state to conduct business, with its high taxes and high cost of living. Business leaders are always looking for a way to save money and boost the bottom line. Before the formation of the Manufacturing Caucus, many manufacturers believed New Jersey forgot about them, and for the most part, the state did take this critical industry for granted. Their needs and concerns would go unanswered. Businesses were being ignored and this was causing many manufacturers to explore the option of moving out of state to help them become more competitive.
The value of the manufacturing industry and the lack of state support encouraged NJMEP to work with the legislators to establish the bi-partisan Legislative Manufacturing Caucus.
A group of highly respected bi-partisan legislators makes up the Legislative Manufacturing Caucus of New Jersey.
Below is a list of the legislators that make up the current Manufacturing Caucus.
- Senator Bucco District 25
- Asm. Calabrese District 36
- Senator Cryan District 20
- Asw. DeCroce District 26
- Asm. DePhillips District 40
- Asm. Freiman District 16
- Senator Gopal District 11
- Senator Greenstein District 14
- Asm. Houghtaling District 11
- Asm. Johnson District 37
- Senator Oroho District 24
- Asm. Peterson District 23
- Senator Rice District 28
- Asm. Taliaferro District 3
- Senator Singleton District 7
- Senator Testa District 1
- Senator Thompson District 12
- Asm. Zwicker District 16
Manufacturing Caucus Recent Accomplishments
Manufacturers in New Jersey can now trust their voice has a representative on the public stage. Through open Manufacturing Caucus hearings, New Jersey manufacturing business leaders can discuss with the caucus exactly what pain points they’re experiencing and how the state can help support their businesses rather than hinder their competitiveness. Just in the past two years, the caucus helped the industry in a variety of ways.
They helped pass the ‘Securing our Children’s Future Bonding Act to support CTE schools, they fought to secure additional state funds for NJMEP in 2018, 2019 and they have also been a huge proponent in supporting NJMEP’s inclusion in the state budget in 2020 and beyond. The caucus has supported workforce development training bills, the Manufacturing Policy Academy, Sales Tax exemption Bill – S-515, and the 14 Fall 2020 INFO@NJMEP.ORG | WWW.NJMEP.ORG group has continued to actively collaborate with NJMEP to ensure they have an accurate understanding of the headwinds NJ manufacturing is facing.
Industry Collaboration to Provide Value
Collaboration has proved to be a valuable tool in the Manufacturing Caucus toolbelt. For 20 years, NJMEP worked with clients and secured a strong return on investment of 11:1. Since the creation of the Manufacturing Caucus, the ROI has increased to an incredible 15:1. Throughout the recent disaster, NJMEP never faltered. The team provided immediate support to the states manufacturing businesses. Through continued support over the past three years, and more recently as COVID-19 swept through our state, the Manufacturing Caucus has continued to show its value. Through collaboration and constant support from the Manufacturing Caucus, NJMEP is now projecting an astonishing 30:1 Return on Investment for the first two quarters of 2020.
Protecting and strengthening New Jersey manufacturing will take more than just a single entity. Collaboration between businesses like NJMEP, the manufacturers themselves, and the Legislative Manufacturing Caucus is extraordinarily effective. State decision-makers have a direct line to the manufacturers themselves when considering new legislation and these businesses can work with NJMEP to take advantage of all the new business-friendly opportunities being made available throughout the state, regardless if those programs are state-run or NJMEP-developed services.
Overcoming COVID-19: Highlighting the Value of New Jersey Manufacturing
COVID-19 put a tremendous amount of pressure on the local manufacturing industry. New Jersey manufacturers were unsure how to proceed once the Governor started ordering certain businesses to shut their doors. NJMEP worked with its clients and the Manufacturing Caucus to ensure Governor Murphy deemed all manufacturing essential. New Jersey manufacturers, NJMEP, and the Manufacturing Caucus all collaborated to keep manufacturing open in the Garden State and helped businesses follow CDC safety precautions to protect the health of the workforce. By keeping these businesses open, it allowed many manufacturers to retool and start producing critical Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) which the country severely lacked. NJMEP corralled the manufacturers that were retooling or shifting production to PPE and worked with the Manufacturing Caucus and the NJEDA to create a PPE directory which alleviated supply chain pressures and kept the flow of PPE moving throughout the state and nation. Fast-acting solutions like this would have not been possible without the right industry support system. The Manufacturing Caucus helps establish that critical government connection.
Manufacturing in New Jersey is essential, competitive, and challenging. Establishing the Legislative Manufacturing Caucus provided the critical link between private business and the public sector. No longer do these businesses feel as though their needs are being ignored. New Jersey manufacturers have direct access to policymakers. Collaborating with NJMEP created an environment where businesses can work together with the state to ensure business-friendly legislation is considered. By projecting the voice of the industry, anti-business legislation that will unfairly hinder the competitiveness of the New Jersey manufacturing industry will not pass through the legislative process unchallenged. The Legislative Manufacturing Caucus of New Jersey has proved its value in its short history and will continue looking out for these businesses’ interests.