October 2009 | Volume 3, Issue 4
Up in Smoke, In the Ground, Off to China or Generating Power
Where Does New Jersey’s Garbage Go?
New Jersey has a population of over 8.5 million people. According to the federal government, each resident generates one ton of garbage per year; managing this waste is a challenge for the State. Twenty years ago, the State mandated that each county develop its own individual plan for managing its solid waste.
Currently, each of New Jersey’s twenty-one counties has developed its own waste management solution. Options for the counties to manage solid waste include: incinerating it, burying it (landfill), converting it into energy (Waste-to-Energy), and recycling it (resource recovery). Recycling/ resource recovery is required by the State to be included in a county’s waste management plan. With this basic information, we begin the surprising journey of where garbage goes by looking at a few counties’ solutions.
The waste journey varies in each of the counties. Although the counties are mandated to develop their own solid waste management programs, many choose to pass the day-to-day operations on to its municipalities. For example in Morris and Essex Counties, the municipalities determine where its solid waste (materials that are left after the recyclables are removed) will go. Municipalities can either contract with haulers (waste transport companies) for services for its residents or in some cases pass the responsibilities on to its residents. Many municipalities prefer not to take on the business of solid waste management. Instead they pass it on to their residents. Bergen and Somerset are just two of counties where residents are responsible for contracting for their own solid waste removal.
In Somerset and Bergen counties, haulers have the option of taking post recycled solid waste to any licensed disposal facility they choose. Haulers base this decision on tipping costs (the charge to dump each truck) and convenience. A small hauler will most likely avoid travelling long distances to tip/dump, as it takes the equipment out of service for a longer period of time. Naturally, a local disposal facility with reasonable tipping fees will be the destination of choice.
Whether the municipality or resident is responsible for the removal of the waste, the final destination of the waste must follow each individual county’s plan. Residents of Essex Fells, in Essex county, must provide their own waste disposal, whereas Verona, also in Essex County, contracts with a waste management company to provide services for its residents. Montclair and Newark residents see their refuse picked up by trucks owned and operated by their communities. The waste from all these communities follow Essex County’s mandate for disposal.
It is important to note that throughout the state of New Jersey, businesses and industries are responsibile for their own waste disposal. However, they must comply with its county’s mandate.
Morris County’s trash has a very different journey. Morris County manages its solid waste at the county level. The Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority (MCMUA) determines where this waste will go. Although its municipalities are responsible for the collection of the trash, the county maintains control of its solid waste flow by requiring the haulers to send it to its two transfer stations. This is known as flow control; waste delivered to a set location. In the case of Morris County, this waste is then transported to MCMUA’s designated disposal locations in Eastern Pennsylvania. These transfer stations are operated under contract by Waste Management (WM). WM is responsible for maintaining the facilities and transporting the waste to the Pennsylvania disposal locations made up of five landfills and a Waste-to-Energy plant.
The Morris County system benefits both its municipalities and the Pennsylvania towns that are recipients of the solid waste. To borrow a line from the MCMUA website, “The local municipalities view the MCMUA, as an agency that can be trusted, one that protects the environment and whose history shows it limits costs while increasing services for Morris County and its people and businesses.” The Pennsylvania communities benefit from the revenue and the jobs the landfill and waste-to-energy facility creates and the energy created by the WTE plant.
WM has been at the forefront of the renewable energy movement. The company developed a pipeline for the transport of gas generated at the GROWS and Tullytown landfills to an adjacent gas processing facility. Electricity from these facilities is sold and powers homes in the Philadelphia area. Morris County’s waste contributes to the success of these programs as well as to the greatly reduced property taxes of the communities housing these landfills and renewable energy facilities.
Several New Jersey counties operate Waste-to-Energy facilities to process post-recycled municipal solid waste. Essex, Union and Warren are examples of counties taking this different approach. Annually these plants process 1.6 million tons of waste into 485 megawatts of energy. This is enough to power 130 thousand homes. In addition, the facilities also help with metal recycling in these communities. Each year, Covanta’s three plants recover 30 thousand tons of metals from the waste stream. These are metals not typically recycled. Covanta Energy manages the facilities for these counties as well as over 40 other Waste-to-Energy facilities throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Covanta uses a variety of technologies that have earned the company a reputation for safety, reliability, efficiency, and environmental responsibility.
Sunil K Garg, Ph.D, Esq., the Executive Director of the Union County Utilities Authority, explains the benefits of Waste-to-Energy conversion, “WTE (waste-to-energy) uses municipal solid waste (MSW) as fuel in boilers that generate steam to drive a turbine that generates electricity. The electricity is sold on the distribution grid generating revenue that is used to offset the cost of MSW management, and other essential municipal services. WTE recovers more than 600 kW-hr of electricity per ton of waste. This is at least 10 times more than the electricity recoverable from a ton of land-filled waste. An average household annually generates about 2 tons of MSW that can produce 1200 – 1300 kW-hr of electricity per year through WTE. This is sufficient to satisfy about 6 weeks of electricity consumption of an average home in NJ. MSW is local, sustainable and indigenous, making it an economic way to generate electricity and manage solid waste.” Garg adds, “Our facility in Rahway generates roughly 25% of the sustainable energy in NJ.”
The Covanta facility in Newark is easily recognized. A pink and blue building, it is visible from the NJ Turnpike. Waste-to-Energy facilities are closely monitored by hi-tech equipment with the results reported to the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection). The Essex, Union and Warren county facilities have an excellent record of their emissions falling far below the State’s strict requirements.
The Good, The Bad and The Smelly—Landfill
The days of landfills (dumps) emitting smoke and stench with various animals (rats, mice, birds) swarming around are long gone. A landfill is not simply an open hole in the ground. They are carefully designed structures built into or on top of the ground in which trash is isolated from the surrounding environment (groundwater, air, rain) by using a bottom liner and daily covering of soil. There are two types: sanitary landfills use a clay liner to isolate the trash from the environment and municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills use a synthetic (plastic) liner to isolate the trash from the environment. Today’s landfills often capture the methane that is generated from them and use it to generate electricity. Even though today’s landfills must meet very stringent requirements, the ongoing use of them for solid waste management is questionable. Waste is often hauled or shipped long distances resulting in higher transportation costs and a larger carbon footprint than a local solution. These additional costs are passed on to its customers and the larger carbon footprint greatly impacts the environment.
Glass, Paper, Plastic and Much More—The Complexities of Recycling
All New Jersey counties must include a recycling component in its solid waste plan. Recycling is required by law for both residents and businesses and has been since April 20, 1987 when Governor Thomas Kean signed the Mandatory Source Separation & Recycling Act.
Similar to the solid waste component, the recycling component can either be managed on a municipal level as Bergen and Essex County does or managed on a county level such as Somerset County. No matter how recycling is handled for the residents in a county, businesses and industries are responsible for its own recyclables.
Recycling involves processing used materials into new products. Although we first think of glass, paper and plastic it is far more extensive than those materials alone. Recycling is a key component of modern waste management and is the third component of the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” waste hierarchy. The success of recycling is dependent on the ability to use the recycled goods for another purpose—a market for the recycled materials must exist.
To encourage the recycling component of the waste hierarchy and reduce the quantity of solid waste within the state, New Jersey passed the Recycling Enhancement Act. The bill requires solid waste collectors to pay a tax based on the tonnage it hauls. The tax in turn is passed on to the haulers’ customers. The revenue collected from this bill is deposited in the State Recycling Fund, which is administered by the Department of Environmental Protection. The funds provide grants for municipalities or counties that, at their own expense, provide for the collection, processing and marketing of recyclable materials.
Recycling or “Resource Recovery” is the collecting and separating of certain waste materials for processing into new forms. Even “post-recycled waste,” the materials left after the glass, plastic, paper etc. are removed from the waste stream, can be recycled. The Covanta managed facilities in Essex, Union and Warren County “convert” the counties post-recycled municipal waste into electricity, a very common occurrence in Europe. Twenty years ago, when our waste-to-energy facilities were built they used state-of-the-art equipment. Now new technologies make WTE facilities an even more viable option for waste management and for producing sustainable energy.
In addition to WTE and recycling, many counties encourage composting. We asked Diane Vigilante, solid waste manager for Somerset County about the benefits of composting. She told us, “Somerset County encourages composting because it is an environmentally sound method for disposing of food waste. We offer two composting classes annually and provide composting bins for our residents.” Vigilante added, “From a financial perspective, composting can greatly reduce the volume of trash, which can in turn impact a town’s disposal costs. In addition, the compost is great for someone who likes to garden.”
Converted Organics composts on a very large scale. The company, based in Boston, recycles commercial food waste into environmentally friendly fertilizer or biostimulant for the retail, turf management and agribusiness markets. When fully operational, the Converted Organics’ facility in Woodbridge, NJ will produce both a dry and liquid fertilizer. Its products are available to consumers in both Home Depot and Whole Foods and its turf products are used on the finest U.S. Golf courses.
Innovative companies like Converted Organics, TerraCycle, which manufactures fifty-six different consumer products by upcycling trash and Mohawk Industries, which takes in 3 billion plastic bottles a year to manufacture its EverStrand carpet and other products, has created a market for recycled materials and has proven there is a market for products made from recycled materials.
Hazardous Waste— A Concern for Everyone
The collection and disposal of hazardous waste, either household or industrial, is done at the county level. Each county must provide for the collection of household hazardous waste (HHW) for its residents. What kind of materials constitute HHW—aerosols, appliances with CFCs, batteries, computers, electronics & CRTs to name just a few. A complete list and schedule of collections throughout the state can be found athttp://www.njhazwaste.com and on each county’s web site. Businesses and industries in New Jersey are responsible for the appropriate disposal of HHW.
Recycled computers, electronics and CRTs or e-Waste, as it is known, is hazardous and is regulated by the federal government under the Resource Recover and Conservation Act (RCRA), as well as by many individual state regulations. The Electronic Waste Management Act signed into law last January makes New Jersey one of eight states that have adopted legislation to control the disposal of E Waste.
David Zimet, president of Hesstech, an e-Steward founder* and electronics recycler in Edison warns us that e-Waste often has a very questionable journey, “The lack of enforcement or effective regulations provides opportunities for less than reputable brokers and recycling firms, to say one thing and do another. “ Zimet points out that, “US based companies are not protected from disposal liabilities in foreign countries. A thorough investigation will likely reveal most recyclers are helping e-waste find its way to China and Africa creating hazardous conditions for its residents and its recycling workforce.” He further suggests, “In addition to understanding where your e-waste is going you should learn how to confirm whether hard drives have truly been purged of data.”
Recyclers often claim to use Department of Defense (DoD) approved software, however, the DoD has never endorsed any software. Zimet explains that Hesstech often receives “cleaned” drives that actually still contain data. Before recycling anything, Hesstech rechecks hard drives, and if data is found cleans them again. Many recyclers don’t bother and vital data can wind up in the wrong hands such as the camps in Nigeria, a popular destination for recycling TVs and computers.
Our journey through the solid waste hierarchy has been long and complex. Hopefully this journey has helped to raise our awareness of the challenges faced by the ongoing production of solid waste and finding solutions for managing it.
The solutions can be productive— developing new processes and products enables more materials to be recycled, creating more local sustainable energy from our waste and discovering new ways to reduce our consumption and reuse materials.
We will always be faced with disposing of solid waste—be it burning it, burying it or recycling it. The best we, as individuals and businesses, can do is be responsible in our choices. For those of us who contract directly for removal of waste, we have greater control over it…..next time your waste removal contract is up ask…. “Where does my garbage go?”
To learn more about how to responsibly manage your solid waste in New Jersey email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*“e-Stewards recyclers are a group of leading North American electronics recyclers that have been qualified by the Basel Action Network (www.ban.org) as practicing internationally compliant electronics waste recycling. Recyclers adopting the e-Stewards standard (www.e-Stewards.org) provide legal, safe and healthy disposal of electronic waste around the world.”
Experiencing Your Company – Creating Lasting Impressions
An Interview with Rhea Cook, President, Ex Machina
Receptionist, website, and sales person… all these initial touch points set the tone of your company. When was the last time you called your company’s main number, looked at your website or had your cold-calling firm call you?
Are your customers and prospects greeted by a friendly voice or do their calls roll into an automated system that has them running in circles trying to reach a live person? When visiting your website, do visitors have to drill down several layers before finding contact info? Is it something other than a window filled with fields to be completed and submitted to some unknown person who responds at their convenience or do they get an automated response thanking them for contacting your company? When was the last time you experienced your company from a potential client’s perspective?
“Experiential” has been the buzzword that summed up marketing in the tradeshow and event industry. In reality Experiential Marketing is much more than that. It is every communication from your company.
To learn more about Experiential Marketing NJMEP spoke with Rhea Cook, president of Ex Machina, a marketing and design firm that specializes in helping businesses create positive experiences for its customers and prospects.
NJMEP: Rhea, can you please take us through Experiential Marketing 101?
Ex Machina: The hype around Experiential Marketing makes it seem like a new kind of corporate hocus pocus. But Experiential Marketing is less complex and more practical than it may seem. It’s a way to think about the things you are already doing that will allow you to connect with your customers and prospects in a more memorable way. Every customer interaction with a member of your team is perceived as a communication from your company. You know this from any negative experience you have had with a vendor. It only takes one customer service nightmare to make you rethink your relationship with the entire company.
Delivering the ‘Common Sense’ Message
NJMEP: That sounds pretty straight forward.
Ex Machina: You’re right, it’s very straight forward. The common sense of your everyday life will help you understand your customer’s experience. A simple example: When you pick out a birthday present for a family member or a dear friend, you think about their personality and what they might enjoy – or better yet, you take the time to find out what they really want. To help communicate how much you value them, you may wrap the gift in special paper and include a card picked out just for them. Sometimes you even plan a party at which they are the guest of honor! You do everything you can to create a memorable experience.
On the other hand, you don’t deliver the gift still in the bag with the price tag on, and include a copy of an old card that you received for your birthday because ‘that’s easier for you.’ In that case, when your loved one opened your gift they would be painfully aware that you did not personally consider them for even a moment. It would be an equally memorable experience but for all the wrong reasons.
Choices Create Experiences
NJMEP: Rhea, I think I understand your point…we reinforce or deny the relationships we have by the choices we make. How many times have we received a proposal from a vendor that is so general we wonder if they even heard our needs or chose to address them.
Ex Machina: Yes, exactly. What we’re saying is: A value and expectation is established between you and your customers just as it is between you and your friends. Consequently if your marketing messages and the ways in which you deliver them do not match your customers’ expectations, the disconnect is measurable and immediate for better or worse. In much the same way you would communicate to your friend how little you value your relationship with them were you to treat them with the indifference described above.
To your customer every choice you make, from the personality of your receptionist to the quality of your direct mail piece, is a marketing choice. Embracing that fact will enable you to breakthrough to a new way of thinking about marketing – and creating experiences for your customers and prospects alike.
Creating a memorable first impression doesn’t depend on mystical words and astronomical budgets. All it takes is your team’s collective energy and a commitment to showing customers that you understand who they are and value your relationship enough to provide them with a positive experience when communicating with your company.
NJMEP: Thank you Rhea. It’s clear that every touch point is valuable as they send a message about your company and create an experience for the prospect and customer.
For more information on creating a lasting impression for your customer, email us a ManufacturingMatters@njmep.org. Please put Creating Lasting Impressions in the subject line.
373 New Jersey Manufacturers Participate in Study
Next Generation Manufacturing Research Indicates Opportunities for Improvement
New Jersey manufacturing executives recently participated in the Next Generation Manufacturing Study. The study results indicate New Jersey manufacturers have opportunities to improve their operations. New Jersey manufacturing was benchmarked to Next Generation Manufacturing standards and national manufacturers. Survey participants responded to a 61-question web-based survey that asked them to rank their progress in six areas: customer-focused innovation, workforce development, process improvement, supply chain management, sustainable strategies, and global engagement.
A small sampling of the results shows:
The NGM study indicated 15% of NJ manufacturers rate their organization’s progress toward customer-focused innovation as world-class with 34.3% indicating they are close. 34.0% of NJ manufacturers dedicate 1-5% of its workforce to new-product development/R&D and 21% invest less than 1% of sales into product development.
Reporting on workforce development, i.e., human-capital acquisition, development and retention, 30% of New Jersey manufacturers are at or near world-class status. 12% of companies surveyed offer more than 40 hours of training annually to employees and 36% of New Jersey manufacturers offer less than 8 hours. For companies that reported they are at or near world-class status, approximately 19% train more than 40 hours annually.
Few New Jersey manufacturers are making a substantial effort to adopt Greener practices and produce Greener products. 18% report reducing their energy usage per unit of product by more than 10%, and 25% have reduced their use of non-recycled material per unit of product by more than 10%. The study indicated a surprising lack of interest among many in sustainable strategies—16% believe it is “not important.”
Approximately 24% of New Jersey manufacturers have a leadership succession planned in the next five years; another 30% may have a transition in leadership. In the state, 41% of chief executives are 51-60 yrs of age with 31% over 61.
The presence of sophisticated measurement systems or review processes is a reliable indicator of an organization’s willingness and ability to continuously improve. 29.3% of New Jersey manufacturers have “No measurement systems per se or reviews” in place.
As of April 2009, the manufacturing sector employs 271,200 people in New Jersey and drives job growth in supporting industries such as logistics, marketing, transportation and business services.
“Creating wealth in an economy occurs when you make things, mine things and grow things. In New Jersey we clearly make and grow a lot of things,” said RobertLoderstedt, President & CEO of NJMEP. “The information compiled in this study will provide a roadmap for the State of New Jersey, NJMEP, it’s partners and anyone else who understands the value of making things, to determine how we maintain and create additional wealth within New Jersey’s economy,” he added.
The study was coordinated by American Small Manufacturers Coalition (ASMC) and member Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers. The New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP) and its partners, which represent the largest coalition in New Jersey to ever come together to support the State’s manufacturing sector, a critical cornerstone to the States economy, spearheaded the project in New Jersey.
Next Generation Manufacturing refers to a framework of six strategies essential for global competitiveness today and in the future. The strategies are customer-focused innovation, systemic continuous improvement, advanced talent management, global engagement, extended enterprise management and sustainable products and processes
NJMEP’s strategic partner organizations that supported the NGM Study: Bergen County Workforce Investment Board, Commerce& Industry Association of New Jersey, Department of Commerce New Jersey Export Assistance Centers, Employers Association of New Jersey, Hudson County One Stop Career Center, Hudson County Workforce Investment Board, Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce, Morris Sussex Warren Workforce Investment Board, New Jersey Business & Industry Association, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey Society of CPAs, New Jersey Technology Council, South Jersey Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey Tooling & Manufacturing Association, Union County College, Middlesex County College, Mercer County Workforce Investment Board and Raritan Valley Community College.
Culturally Competent Organizations Realize Higher Levels of Synergy, Innovation and Success
Tips by Christopher D’Marco
The workplace is a culturally diverse environment. Although diversity can generate higher levels of innovation, it can also hinder innovation and operational efficiency. How can this happen? With a diverse workplace come a variety of work philosophies and values, as well as, different interpersonal and communication styles. When not understood and optimized, these differences can result in disruptive misunderstandings, conflicts and delays when attempting to implement new or modified ways of conducting business, such as lean manufacturing.
Large global organizations are identifying cultural competence training as an essential part of their employee development programs. Smaller companies are often not aware of the need for this training or how to implement it.
Christopher D’Marco, Executive Vice President, Change & Response Strategies offers these suggestions to leadership and staff that wish to create a culturally competent workforce.
-Understand how our own “cultural lens” affects our world view and can distort our interpretation of other cultures and thereby delay innovation and success.
-Don’t allow one set of cultural philosophies, values, and priorities prevent you from keeping an open mind and learning from other cultural work philosophies, values, and priorities.
-Demonstrate the necessary patience and interest to learn from others of another culture.
-Be aware of your own cultural values and beliefs and possible biases that can limit your ability to leverage all of an organizations expertise and talent.
-Make no assumption about another’s culture; instead study and familiarize yourself by asking questions, actively listening to them, and engaging them in getting the work done.
-Put policies and core values in place that promote culturally competent practices.
-If necessary, produce multi-lingual instructional and promotional material.
-Educate yourself and your employees on cultural competence – consider including cultural competence training in your professional development programs.
Christopher D’Marco is an organization development consultant, trainer and founding member of Change & Response Strategies, LLC whose areas of focus include strategic planning, leadership development, team facilitation, change management and lean enterprise. With 25 years of diverse experience across an array of industries, Christopher is Lean-Six Sigma Qualified from Villanova University. Change & Response Strategies is a resource of NJMEP.
For more information on Cultural Competency, email us atManufacturingMatters@njmep.org. Please put Cultural Competency in the subject line.
NJMEP Success Story
New Website Links Company to the World
Linker Machines, a small family owned business, wanted to increase sales by expanding its customer base to the international marketplace. The company manufactures automatic linking and peeling machinery for small to medium-sized sausage producers.
The company was started in 1938 and purchased by Jean and Robert Hebrank in 1994. Linker Machines, which operates out of Rockaway NJ, has a long standing reputation for product reliability. Its customers are predominately U.S. based and its primary marketing is done through its web site and trade expositions.
Jean Hebrank, president, Linker Machines, contacted NJMEP after reading NJMEP’s marketing materials. She explained to NJMEP Field Agent Joe D’Urso, “Linker Machines needed assistance in bringing its products to market, specifically in the international space. Linker had been using CDs to reach the international market. The CDs did not portray Linker as a technically advanced company. They also took too long to reach the potential customer and were costly.”
To help Hebrank achieve her objective, NJMEP brought in Paul Hebert, the owner of PFA Designs, a strategic partner of NJMEP. PFA Designs is a corporate communications design group with expertise in multimedia and web based media. NJMEP managed the project. The new site needed to be user friendly and provide potential customers with access to product information. As Linker was reaching out to the international community it was imperative that they have a way of demonstrating its equipment 24/7 as potential customers did not want to travel to view its equipment. To accomplish this, Linker created videos. This feature would allow potential customers to view the linkers and peelers while in operation.
Hebert, working with NJMEP, Jean Hebrank and Michael Hebrank, Director of Sales and Service, created a layout for the website and populated it with the client supplied materials – copy, images and videos. The project took 14 months from initial contact to completion. Once the materials were provided, PFA was able to deliver the project within a short period of time. “Paul Hebert was very easy to work with and we are very pleased with the final outcome,” reports Hebrank.
Linker Machines received a completely redesigned website that met the company’s objectives—a user friendly interface and 24/7 access to product demonstrations, that would increase its visibility and accessibly in the sausage industry, especially in the international space. Hebrank tells us, “The website enabled us to reach out to many countries and provide a viable means for demonstrating our equipment to potential international customers. We have been able to identify $40,000 in new sales that are a direct result of our investment in the new website.”
“I can’t say enough good things to express what it was like to work with Joe D’Urso and NJMEP. The entire process of redesigning the site was efficient and the new features have helped us meet our objective of increasing international sales,” adds Hebrank. Linker is developing new products for both domestic and international customers and potential customers and the company has reached out to NJMEP for engineering assistance.
For a small family owned business, success can be measured in many ways. For Linker Machines, it is the ability to identify new markets and to develop the appropriate tool to reach that market; when that effort results in greater visibility and an increase in sales, it is “success” by any measurement criteria.
If you want to link your company to a larger market emailManufacturingMatter@njmep.org and put Linker in the subject line.
Great Things Are Made In New Jersey
NJMEP To Feature Them On A New Web Page
NJMEP invites you to help us showcase NJ manufacturers. The new page on our website features companies whose products are Made in New Jersey.
Our objective for this web page is to highlight the contributions manufacturing makes to the state’s economy and to feature companies that are customer focused, forward thinking, continuously improving their productivity, and desire to grow and compete both locally and globally.
We ask that you provide us with a list of the products your company manufactures in New Jersey, a photo of a product you would like to feature, your company logo, a link to your website and if you like, specific contact information.
Any information you provide us with will be used exclusively for the Made in New Jersey web page and will not be used for self-promotional purposes.
We hope you will join us in this effort to raise awareness of the many products that are manufactured in New Jersey and the fine companies that make their home here.
To submit your company, please email the required information below to LDeSantis@njmep.org:
Logo and photo should be submitted in gif or jpeg format at minimum resolution of 72 dpi.
To learn more about the Made in New Jersey web page and this exciting opportunity to show off your products without spending down your advertising budget, call NJMEP at 973-998-9801 or email Lynore DeSantis.
NJMEP to Participate in Everything Jersey Business
Robert Loderstedt, NJMEP President and CEO to Educate Attendees on SMART Goals
The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, The Star-Ledger and the state’s best companies, associations and government entities will join forces on October 22, 8:30 AM – 3 PM, at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset for Everything Jersey Business. NJMEP is a sponsor of the event and will be exhibiting.
Workshops will be held throughout the day on topics such as marketing, finance, access to capital, social media, going green, sales techniques and much more. Mr. Loderstedt’s workshop “Get SMART about Performance Metrics: If It Can’t Be Measured It Can’t Be Managed“ will help session participants learn how to develop and implement a measurement system as well as how to evaluate and update an existing system.
NJMEP staff will be available in the exhibit hall to answer questions about quality initiatives, process improvement, strategies for growth and continuity, R&D and energy tax credits, creating a greener business model as well as customized training and workforce development.
The conference will also feature a Meet the Lenders session that will provide attendees the opportunity to discuss the availability of loans with the top lenders from New Jersey’s most successful financial institutions and government agencies.
The NJ Office of Supplier Diversity will assist small, minority and women-owned businesses connect with purchasing officers from state agencies and corporations during scheduled appointments during the day.
Procurement specialists from the state’s largest companies and government entities will be available to meet with small business owners. Advance registration is required.
This year the exhibit hall will host a Green Pavilion featuring environmentally friendly “green” products and services.
Workshops will be held throughout the day on topics such as marketing, finance, access to capital, social media, going green, sales techniques and much more.
If you would like to schedule a meeting with NJMEP at the event email us atManufacturingMatters@njmep.org, put Everything Jersey Business in the subject line.
Going Green – Tax Benefits & Advantages
by James J. Hannan, CPA, Partner, Withum Smith & Brown, PC
Given the current focus on energy efficiencies and “green” technologies embraced by the Obama Administration and various states, businesses and individuals are taking advantage of assorted tax incentives. Under the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, an even more robust package of tax incentives to encourage investments and consumer spending in renewable energy projects or more-efficient technologies has been made available.
Energy Investment Tax Credit
Businesses investing in solar powered energy systems and facilities receive a substantial (30 %) Federal energy investment tax credits in the year the facility is placed in service. Solar panels and a solar heating system both qualify for this credit.
Through December 31, users installing energy-efficient equipment and defined improvements will also be eligible for a bonus depreciation of 50 % of the asset’s cost. Along with that, commercial businesses that install systems that reduce power consumption can deduct between $.60 and $1.80 per square foot of the qualified space.
There is also a substantial increase for 2009 and 2010 for the alternative refueling property credit – offered to businesses which install pumps that dispense alternate fuels like E85 fuel, electricity, and natural gas – from 30 % to 50 %, and the cap, previously $30,000, is now $50,000. While hydrogen refueling pumps remain at a 30 % credit, the cap has been raised to $200,000.
The new law also benefits users of propane and those in the industry, as Congress temporarily increased the amount businesses can expense from $125,000 to $250,000, and the phase out limitation for the credit was also temporarily raised from $500,000 to $800,000 for 2008. These changes apply to property placed in service in 2009.
Known as the Residential Energy Efficient Property (“REEP”) Credit, tax incentives are also available to individual taxpayers for expenditures for qualified: solar electric and heating property, fuel cell and small wind energy property, and qualified geothermal heat pump property.
The tax credit for improvements to energy-efficient existing homes is extended to 2010, with the credit increased from 10 % to 30 % of the amount paid or incurred by the taxpayer for qualified energy efficiency improvements. Government buildings are eligible for incentives as well. In New Jersey, for example, the state picks up 75 % of the cost of an energy audit and covers the full cost if the recommended measures are implemented.
New Jersey Smart Start Buildings Program
Available through New Jersey’s electric and gas utilities, the Smart Start Buildings Program is designed to offer incentives for upgrading to high efficiency equipment, whether you are renovating existing space or starting new construction. This program offers benefits no matter the size of the project, with design support for ones over 50,000 square feet, and technical assistance for those that are smaller. Incentives are also available for custom projects if your specifications are not defined by the program. While these services are free, pre-approval is required for almost all energy efficient incentives.
For more information on how your business can take advantage of tax credits for “Going Green,” email ManufacturingMatters@njmep.org, put Tax Credits in the subject line.
Client News – NJDOL Panel Features Two NJMEP Clients
Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation and Hughes Enterprise Discuss Training
NJMEP clients Hughes Enterprises and The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF) participated in the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development event, “Training Grants—Financial Resources for NJ Employers.”
Representatives from the two companies served as panelists in the Technical Workshop on Customized Workfoce Training held August 12th. Both companies received grants to implement training within their organizations.
Hughes Enterprises and The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation shared their insight into the program and the positive impact the training had on the companies.
NJMEP worked with Hughes and MTF to identify their training needs, assist with the grant application and reporting processes, as well as managed the program. NJMEP also provided trainers with expertise specific to the companies’ needs.
Hughes Enterprises is a leading provider of packaging and sanitary supplies, packaging equipment and the support services needed to install and maintain it. Headquartered in Trenton NJ, Hughes has ten regional sales offices.
The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation is a national consortium of academic medical institutions, organ procurement organizations and tissue recovery organizations. Located in Edison, The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation is the nation’s largest tissue bank.
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Other States Woo N.J. Manufacturers – N.J. agency fights back, helps plants boost productivity
Originally Appeared in the Asbury Park Press
by Shannon Mullen
September 2009 (Eatontown) — An all-expenses-paid move and a five-year tax exemption. That’s the latest deal Eli Liebermann says he was offered to relocate his manufacturing plant to New Mexico. A tempting offer, to be sure, but Liebermann, president of Innovative Power Solutions, which makes generators and transformers for the aerospace industry, turned it down, just like he’s turned down a list of other states that have aggressively courted his company in recent years.
What’s keeping him here? Emotional ties to New Jersey, not economic factors. He likes the Jersey Shore, the state’s diversity and its proximity to New York City.
“I still think New Jersey is the best state in the union,” said Liebermann, 62, of Ocean Township, who moved to the state from his native Israel in the 1980s to work at AlliedSignal, now one of his chief competitors.
The problem for him and his 40-employee company is that New Jersey is also one of the costliest states in the United States to run a business, due to its high property, income, corporate and sales taxes, high labor costs and challenging regulatory climate.
Those high costs have driven manufacturers out of the state in droves. In the past decade alone, New Jersey has lost almost 150,000 manufacturing jobs, a 35 percent drop.
Many of these jobs have migrated to other states and foreign countries where the taxes and labor costs are low, and the incentives hard to resist.
“If you’re thinking of expanding or relocating, it’s almost a no-brainer,” said Christopher Reese, a field agent for the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program. The nonprofit organization, modeled after the agricultural extension programs that help farmers, works with manufacturers such as Innovative Power that want to remain in the state, typically because of family ties or work-force considerations.
The program focuses on finding ways to cut costs and boost productivity, using efficiency principles pioneered by Toyota, the Japanese automaker.
With Reese’s help, Innovative Power is in the process of revamping a portion of its production line, using a $50,000 grant from the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development to defer 50 percent of the cost.
So far, the results are dramatic. Bill Schatzow, the plant’s operation manager, says that a transformer that used to take up to two months to produce can now be made in about a week, without the costly errors that used to hold up
“It works,” said employee Anthony Langley, 45, of Neptune. For him, the change has meant moving from a traditional, linear assembly line to a new U-shaped workspace he shares with two other assemblers doing related work on the same transformer. Each now has all the tools and materials he needs within arm’s reach, systematically arranged and color-coded.
“At most, that’s 10 percent of what’s needed for us to be a lean manufacturing facility,” Liebermann said. He’d like to do more, to prepare for an anticipated rush of orders in 2012, but he can’t afford it now with the entire aerospace industry still reeling from the global economic downturn.
The manufacturing extension program is limited, too, in how much help it can provide. Two years ago, due to the budget crisis, the state stopped funding the organization — a $1.2 million annual hit that represented a third of its operating budget.