​​Moving Manufacturing Forward and Bringing Businesses Together​ 

Manufacturing Industry Leaders and Industry Partners Connected, Spoke Up, and Were Heard by State Legislators 

Cedar Knolls, New Jersey: ​NJMEP’s State-of-the-State of Manufacturing Summit brought together hundreds of New Jersey manufacturers, industry leaders, and state policymakers to take the first steps toward building a stronger domestic manufacturing industry. 

​​Manufacturers, industry partners, and state legislators flocked to the Trenton War Memorial with one purpose—bringing about more manufacturing support in New Jersey. Attendees took part in networking, Two Separate Town Hall discussions—the first of which covered topics like a renewed focus on incentivizing manufacturers to stay in New Jersey, while also attracting new businesses to move here through financial incentives, branding emphasis, and childcare assistance. The second Town Hall tackled issues like continued communication and collaboration between the industry and the State Government to facilitate a stronger supply chain and domestic manufacturing sector.  

​For John W. Kennedy, CEO of NJMEP, this year’s State-of-the-State was even more critical as his retirement approaches. “This State-of-the-State is bittersweet. I’ve had the unique privilege of serving the manufacturing sector these past 13 years, from the first State-of-the-State that NJMEP hosted in 2017 until this most recent event, and while we’ve made great strides toward fostering a pro-manufacturing New Jersey, there’s still more work to be done,” says Kennedy. “I’ll still be around, advocating for the industry and supporting NJMEP’s National Supply Chain database implementation. As long as the industry continues coming together and speaking up, it will only continue moving forward,” 

​Peter Connolly, current COO and who will be stepping into the CEO role following John’s retirement, shared, “I’ve worked alongside John for many years and it’s a great vote of confidence to be chosen as his successor,” says Connolly, “State-of-the-State continues to be the cornerstone of manufacturing advocacy in New Jersey, and this year’s event is a turning point in a lot of ways—for both NJMEP and the industry as a whole.” He continues, “Leadership might be changing, but the goal remains the same—NJMEP will continue to help businesses manufacture success and move the industry forward, starting with events like State-of-the-State.” As much a symbolic beginning as it is a literal one, State-of-the-State will be back next year to keep driving change. 

​NJMEP is also proud to present CONNEX™ New Jersey, an online SaaS platform that connects all New Jersey manufacturers and suppliers into a single searchable solution. It allows manufacturers, suppliers, and buyers to quickly post and respond to needs, visualize supply chain risk, search for qualified manufacturers, and discover new business opportunities—all this is available to New Jersey manufacturers at no cost. Manufacturers who register between May 15th to July 15th will also get complimentary U.S. Database access for life—which typically costs $500/year. Visit njmep.org/CONNEX to sign up or learn more about this vital service.​ 

About NJMEP: NJMEP helps to improve the profitability and competitiveness of small to medium-sized manufacturers in New Jersey. Backed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), NJMEP enables organizations to enhance their productivity and efficiencies, reduce costs, and improve employee performance. For more than 20 years, NJMEP has used its extensive network of connections and proven track record of success to help manufacturers adapt to the latest innovative technologies and best practices to realize more than $7.6 billion in value. Our services are categorized into the following three areas: Operational Excellence, Innovation and Growth, and Workforce Development. 


​​Michael Womack​ | ​Sr. Marketing & Communications Manager​ 


​​Tel. 973-998-9801 x220  ​ 

​​njmep.org ​ 

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