Made in New Jersey

Note from the Desk of John Kennedy, Ph.D.

There has been a great deal of discussion the last year or so regarding a Manufacturing ‘resurgence’, which is great. While I agree on some fronts regarding this phenomenon. I also know that what it really means is that our critical industry is back in the conversation for many reasons.

The alignment of a Presidential Candidate talking about the industry; coupled with our entire New Jersey State Government being up for re-election has allowed for a re-boot of what we in manufacturing & STEM have known all along, that we are not going anywhere.

So, as the ‘planet’s aligned’, NJMEP decided to take on some significant efforts to ensure that our voice remains consistent, confident, and positive. These included:

  • National Manufacturing (MEP) Hill Days in Washington, DC – the NJMEP Team and several NJ Manufacturers spent 2.5 days visiting all 14 members of our Delegation to bring them up to speed on the status of the 10,552 firms and their 360,000 employees in the Garden State. As usual, we were well-received, and the support remains strong federally.
  • State of the State / NJ Manufacturing Events – we held 2 events, Trenton and Florham Park, as a way to re-ignite conversation between our industry and our elected officials. These were extremely well-attended with over 200 Manufacturing/STEM firms and 40+ from the Senate & Assembly with 6 Federal Offices included as well.
  • Expert Panels that were selected by our Advisory Board on Workforce Development, Taxes & Fees, and Environmental & Energy.
  • Manufacturing Caucus – We congratulate Senate President Steve Sweeney on the formation of a Senate Manufacturing Caucus that will be charged with developing legislation and other programs to make New Jersey a more competitive environment for our 10,552 manufacturers. The Caucus, which grew out of discussions between NJMEP and teammate NJBIA, and highlighted at the NJMEPs first ever State-of-the-State – NJ Manufacturing event that brought together legislators and manufacturers in late March, will be headed by Senator Bob Gordon. “When we decided to bring together leading manufacturing businesses in New Jersey with legislators throughout the state, we were confident that it would spark discussions between the two and lead to intensified efforts just like this to re-affirm New Jersey’s leading position in the manufacturing industry and to create positive job growth for the state,” said John W. Kennedy, Ph.D., NJMEP Chief Executive Officer. “We salute Senate President Steve Sweeney for taking the lead, and we support Senator Bob Gordon as he steps into this critical role in a $45+ Billion Industry for New Jersey. Lastly it is always a plus for us to team with NJBIA, as their ability to create cooperatives of this type is unparalled in our State.”
  • NIST-MEP’s National Manufacturing Summit – was held in Denver and NJMEP was on the forefront again providing significant input through 2 panels and 2 presentations. As you may know, NJMEP works in conjunction with a US Department of Commerce program – and – holds significant national metrics. (

-John Kennedy

Photo: John Kennedy, Ph.D., CEO NJMEP receiving the ceremonial resolution from legislators recognizing the importance & achievements of NJ manufacturers. Presented by Mila Jasey, Assemblywoman representing NJ’s 27th Legislative District.

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