Trenton, NJ — Opportunity New Jersey’s Plan for an Affordable New Jersey, which was announced in Trenton this year, outlines recommendations aimed at putting New Jersey on a pathway toward regional competitiveness and affordability.
A key tenet of the Plan focuses on the stimulation of job growth. The Plan includes specific ideas on how to reform and prioritize economic development incentives and recommends prioritizing job creation and private sector investment, stimulating suburban reinvestment, and enabling a comprehensive, fully vetted plan for Opportunity Zones. It also proposes new grant programs and tax credits that incentivize workforce training and job placement programs.
“It is clear that New Jersey is lagging behind its neighbors in terms of job growth,” said Tom Bracken, President and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, and co-chair of Opportunity New Jersey (ONJ). “It is no secret that we are facing significant fiscal challenges that are compromising the state’s ability to be regionally competitive and affordable for businesses and workers. Together we can work to position the Garden State as an attractive, competitive regional home for everyone to grow and thrive.”
There are promising signs that New Jersey is poised for a rebound. The state is taking strides to revitalize its workforce and build up diverse and small businesses. In February of 2019, Governor Murphy announced the commencement of the Disparity in State Procurement Study Commission, which aims to ensure equal opportunity for small, minority, disabled, veteran and women-owned businesses to participate in the state procurement process. ONJ’s leadership remains concerned that despite the state’s assets, more progress must be made.
“New Jersey’s prime location and advanced infrastructure make it an ideal location for workers and businesses,” said Michele N. Siekerka, Esq., President and CEO of New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), and co-chair of ONJ. “However, with the fiscal challenges New Jersey faces, it is getting more difficult to attract and retain skilled workers and businesses. We must act now — there is too much at stake.”
The Economic Development and Advisory Council, which was formed by ONJ and recently held its inaugural meeting in Trenton, is at the ready to work with Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Coughlin, and their staffs to identify obstacles to job growth and discuss practicable workarounds. To learn more about the Plan and subscribe to the ONJ newsletter, visit www.opportunitynj.org.