Manufacturing Manufacturing Matters



Manufacturing requires a variety of resources and skillsets to produce quality products. Engineering, research and development, business development, sales and marketing, logistics and transportation; it’s a complex industry. Workforce challenges, training, upskilling efforts, and process improvements are always on the mind of any business leader. To ensure New Jersey manufacturers can keep up with all these complexities, NJMEP is highlighting a new manufacturing theme every month! The third quarter of the year showcased Business Growth, Operations, and Food Safety Education.


The idea of growing a business took on new meaning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses were at first concerned with just keeping their doors open and growth took a back seat, for a moment. NJMEP fought to keep all manufacturing considered essential so no New Jersey manufacturing business needed to shut their doors. This provided businesses with an opportunity to grow, shift, and thrive in an uncertain business environment.

Business growth is challenging. There is nothing simple about taking a current operation and scaling up. Countless considerations have to be made; retooling, managing a growing workforce, developing new business, maintaining quality, the list goes on. Understanding what it takes and identifying the best practices to help archive growth is vital.

Throughout the month of July, the conversation was dominated by COVID-19. However, New Jersey manufacturers were silently growing their businesses with the right partners, filling new voids the pandemic created in the market.


Even though these monthly themes were decided at the end of 2019, they aligned extraordinarily well in an environment dominated by COVID-19. Business operations were forced to face one of the most difficult challenges ever presented, a global pandemic and an extreme response by state and federal governing bodies. CDC workplace safety recommendations, travel restrictions, misinformation, and a waterfall of federal and state executive orders created chaos for manufacturers’ operations teams.

Without assistance and guidance, many New Jersey manufacturing businesses aren’t equipped to handle such a massive and unexpected disruption. No one thought that in August the pandemic would still be disrupting a business’ operations team. Through a tremendous effort by organizations like NJMEP, NJEDA, the Manufacturing Caucus, and support from state and federal assistance programs, manufacturing businesses were able to turn to trusted partners and alleviate operational pressures and secure some much-needed guidance and clarification to continue forward.


COVID-19 disruptions put into question the resiliency of the food supply chain. Manufacturers from all over New Jersey worked to ensure their facilities could keep their workforce safe, abide by CDC guidelines, and still deliver their product to customers. The food supply chain is essential and manufacturers had to rely on Food Safety training provided by an organization like NJMEP to get them through this challenging time. New food-specific programs were developed to assist manufacturers in retooling efforts, address cash flow challenges, or provide additional training to reinforce food safety practices during the pandemic to reduce the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak.


Manufacturing Day 2020 took place on October 2nd. This year it was a virtual event in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. New Jersey’s largest Manufacturing networking event of the year made a new kind of impact with its virtual iteration. Over 1000 business leaders registered to take part in this incredible celebration honoring the ‘Unsung Heroes’, the New Jersey manufacturing workforce. Catch up on all the details and see why Manufacturing Day 2020 was the most important MFG Day ever!

Each month NJMEP will continue to celebrate one of the many themes and topics that embody manufacturing. Follow along with the Manufacturing Monthly Theme on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn by following @NJMEP. Share your thoughts about the topic or ask questions on how these topics may impact your business. It’s vital the manufacturing community continues to collaborate and move forward as a whole.

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