Made in New Jersey Manufacturing Day Manufacturing Workforce

Recap: National Manufacturing Day 2015


Friday, October 2nd, 2015
 marked the Made in New Jersey event in celebration of the fourth annual National Manufacturing Day! The celebration was designed to expand knowledge about and improve the general public’s perception of manufacturing careers and the industry’s value to the economy.

Annual Made in New Jersey Event Recap:

400+ attendees gathered from 7:30am – 12:00pm at The Palace in Somerset, NJ for the annual Made in New Jersey event.


Speeches Highlight the Importance of New Jersey Manufacturing:


John W. Kennedy, CEO & President of NJMEP, and Tom Curtin, Publisher of NJBIZ, provided welcome remarks to the crowd.

John W. Kennedy, Ph.D., NJMEP

Tom Curtin, NJBIZ

Carroll Thomas, Director of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Program, served as the first keynote speaker of the event. She discussed the significance of encouraging our youth to pursue a career in manufacturing and changing the perception of our industry.


Carroll Thomas, MEP

Dennis Bone, Director of the Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship at Montclair State, took the stage to celebrate the role of emerging technology in the field, specifically 3D printing / additive manufacturing.

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Dennis Bone, Montclair State

U.S. Senator Cory Booker hailed the New Jersey manufacturing sector in a taped video for the event.


Panel Discussions:


The event included two excellent panel discussions featuring experts in their respective fields:

Panel #1: Attracting the Next Generation to a Career in Manufacturing


  • Moderator: Gary Pezzuti, Owner/President, Summit Group
  • Panelists: Jonathan Moore, Director of Talent Acquisition at L’Oréal, and Tarakshaya Bhatia, Student of Rutgers University and Experience Manufacturing Participant

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Panel #2: Case Studies: Manufacturing in NJ; Challenges and Opportunities


  • Moderator: David Rubin, Principal – Risk and Business Advisory – National Director CohnReznick Advisory Group
  • Panelists: David Podmayersky, Chief Sustainability Officer, Earthcolor, Dax Strohmeyer, President, Triangle Manufacturing Co. Inc., Scott Maurer, President, OPEX International

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New Jersey Manufacturing Awards: 


The Made in New Jersey event additionally featured the NJMEP / NJBIZ New Jersey Manufacturing Awards, which were presented throughout the day. Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees and award recipients!

Manufacturer of the Year – Small (Less than 50 employees)


Winner: City Theatrical Inc.



Applied Image

Centryco, Inc.

COX Printers

Premier Compaction Systems

Manufacturer of the Year – Medium (Between 51 and 250 employees)

Versa Products Co. Inc.



Case Medical

Glebar Company

Johns Manville

Manufacturer of the Year – Large (250+ employees)


Winner: OPEX Corporation



Thorlabs, Inc.

Viking Yacht Company

Zodiac Aero Evacuation Systems

Innovator of the Year: David Rosen, CEO and Founder, TechX Foundry

Raymond Hopp Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence: Daniel Hertz Jr., CEO, Seals Eastern

Food Drive – Manufacturing Cares:


NJMEP and the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ) joined forces to sponsor a food drive on National Manufacturing Day. The food drive accumulated a value of 3,147 pounds of food so far! All the collected foods were donated to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey as part of a special “Manufacturing Cares” project launched by NJMEP and CIANJ NJMEP will be keeping a donation box open for the remainder of October in our continued effort to end hunger in New Jersey if you would like to donate food. Online donations can also be made at

Networking Opportunities:


The event dedicated time for manufacturers to network with other local businesses, connect with sponsors and vendors, and speak with current STEM students on career paths in manufacturing.

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Media coverage for the event was provided by Manufacturing Talk Radio and Cablevision:



NJ Manufacturers Host Events in Celebration of National Manufacturing Day:

In addition to the event, NJ manufacturers and associations from around the state hosted events such as open houses and tours at their facilities during the week leading up to National Manufacturing Day. Many legislators, businesses and schooling institutions participated in these events, providing positive exposure for our industry.

Thank you to everyone who participated in National Manufacturing Day 2015!

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