Operation Outreach is an NJMEP-led initiative to increase legislator awareness about the importance of manufacturing and STEM to our state, as they play a role in grants, labor availability, and government regulations. Please sign NJMEP’s petition. For any questions, call 973-998-9801.
We the undersigned are all New Jersey-Based Manufactures and STEM-Support companies, and we are reaching out to you to begin a new dialogue regarding our $46 Billion industry employing over 247,000 in New Jersey. We are all part of the NJMEP’s (New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program) Made in New Jersey (MINJ) program, and we are offering this discourse as one founded in a mutual respect that will bring us to a new level of understanding and cooperation.
Together …Manufacturing, Life Sciences, Engineering, Service/Maintenance, and Logistics – there are over 11,000 firms employing over 400,000 New Jerseyans in highly skilled (both Collegiate and Industrial) positions that command the highest average wage of any sector. To this end, we believe that a stronger relationship between our Made in New Jersey (MINJ) Group and the legislature is paramount to our growth as (both) an industry and as State. Working together will drive an increase in jobs and in status that will be difficult for others to match.
This letter begins this process, and will allow us the opportunity to introduce our companies, our commitment to NJ through opening our doors and inviting you to see the Manufacturing World of 2017. In doing so we are hopeful that this will lead to a series of more open communications on several topics that are critical – including:
• Workforce Development / Educational – we have a great educational system in New Jersey, but the structure is not always supportive to our industry. We understand fully that we (also) need to step in provide Apprenticeships and other opportunities, but a more-effective structure needs to be built in this area. Please note that, in addition to skilled labor, we also need professionals including Engineers, Accountants, Technical Sales, Marketing, Purchasing, and Supply Chain.. Significantly, most of the current programs are not well-suited for the smaller Manufacturing & STEM firms.
• Industry Marketing – not unlike the efforts for Tourism…we need to build a similar sustained campaign for our sectors. The re-education of parents, students, and yes, our elected officials is a much-needed step. Over 30-years of people hearing the myth “Manufacturing is Dead” – will not be overcome in an instant, but is is a critical step to the continued growth of our industry.
• Taxation & Fees – we realize that taxes are necessary, but we want you to understand that the vast majority of manufacturers are smaller (under 30 employees), and treating them the same way as larger firms is not conducive to growth. We want to stay, but that becomes more difficult if we continue as the country’s leading tax/fee State – especially when they are being aggressively courted by other states.
• DEP & Permitting – our industry certainly is aware of the Environmental-Impacts that can occur, and we have worked hard to make positive changes and be good citizens. Please remember that we all live here with our families too. So, a cleaner world is for all of us.
• Choose-NJ and EDA Programs – they have had a very solid impact for many firms, but as we all know they ignore certain geographical regions, and that is not equitable. Manufacturing has been a key industry for centuries in NJ, and it has evolved throughout the State. Requiring that we need to carry the financial burden to re-locate to receive benefits is not a realistic option for most of us. That selective support is not open or fair-minded.
We understand that governing is a series of ‘give and take’ decisions, and that our industry must be an active participant. Therefore we offer this petition not as a demand for anything, but that we are extending our hand to start a conversation that will lead to improvements that will support and grow this critical NJ-Based Industry.
Therefore, we (through our relationship with NJMEP) respectfully request the opportunity to speak in front of you to formally begin this mutually-beneficial process.