At the end of March, more than 200 industry professionals and state legislators spent two days in New Jersey brainstorming ways to expand the state’s $50 billion manufacturing industry and encourage innovation.
EarthColor’s Chief Sustainability Officer, David Podmayersky, was on hand with other thought leaders to examine the links between the economy, the environment and energy resources in New Jersey to ensure the growth of business in the state and beyond. According to Podmayersky, business executives and lawmakers are faced with a choice. “Do we want to be part of the resurgence of the economy, or do we want to continue business as usual that was hardcore, old-school manufacturing based? Are we going to re-invent our economy, re-invent our legislative laws, re-invent our permitting process?”
Some of the key agents for growth and change addressed by several panels and presentations included:
- The recreation of manufacturing to a more vibrant and environmentally sustainable business driver – transforming from the current linear (take/make/dispose) model to a circular economy with built-in regenerating values and systems;
- The introduction of new clean energy sources and green technology to ensure manufacturing and environmental leadership as well as to revitalize the economy;
- More emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) to drive innovation;
- The advantages of growing a business in the Garden State, leveraging its educated workforce, supply chain and logistics, and proximity to major transportation hubs;
- The need to transform and simplify the regulatory environment in New Jersey to level the playing field and make the state more competitive nationally and globally.
- The potential easing of tax burden on businesses in the state due to proposed federal tax reform and trade stimulus programs.
The meetings, sponsored by the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP), represented the first annual State-of-the-State N.J. Manufacturing Event for leading manufacturing business executives and elected state officials. Through a series of formal presentations and informal networking opportunities, the goals were to initiate and sustain a positive communication link and promote growth in this business economic sector. NJMEP is a private, not-for-profit organization; its aim is to improve the profitability and competitiveness of New Jersey’s manufacturers.
To learn more about EarthColor and our commitment to environmental issues and climate change action, please visit our website.