The last six months have been a transformative phase for Choose New Jersey, and I can say I am excited to be the president and CEO of this organization at the forefront of economic development for the state. A privately-funded, not-for profit, Choose New Jersey was created in 2010 with a focus on bringing new businesses to the State of New Jersey, and I am thrilled to report that our organization continues to grow in 2019. We plan to double down on our international focus as well as our commitment to work with cities, counties and regional chambers and associations to get the message out about our state’s value to business.
Years ago, at Choose New Jersey’s inception, the business commitments to our state that were realized through our activities were quite often domestic, meaning the businesses were relocating from other states. As 2018 came to a close, our year-end data showed that nearly 50 percent of Choose New Jersey’s business commitments from out of state actually came from other countries.
This did not happen by accident. Our business development staff has been strategically targeting certain regions overseas to share our message that New Jersey has the top talent, location and business-friendly environment to grow a business’s international presence. In fact, just this fall, while overseas on a business recruitment trip with Gov. Phil Murphy, Choose New Jersey announced its new European Promotional Office in Berlin, the first office of its kind to promote our state in Europe since 2012. The new office will be led by Managing Director, Nicola Michels, where she will represent New Jersey at trade conferences and business meetings, and undertake lead generation and public relations/social media efforts.
In 2019, we also plan to build upon our existing relationships with our sister organizations around the state that assist in recruiting businesses into New Jersey. We have been working closely with groups like the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, the NJ State Chamber of Commerce, the Atlantic County Economic Alliance, the Newark Alliance, the Jersey City Redevelopment Authority, the Greater Trenton Partnership, as well as representatives from cities and counties and chamber organizations throughout the state to share information and strategies, and to talk through how best to work together to recruit new businesses.
Recruiting new business to New Jersey is more effective when we are leveraging our partners’ expertise and resources. I invite any economic development organization to contact us at Choose New Jersey to share their experiences, learn more about the data and information we have at our disposal, and how we can best partner to bring new jobs to the Garden State.
Along with representatives of the Choose New Jersey Board, which represents approximately one-third of our state’s workforce, we look forward to continuing to work together with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the Business Action Center, the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, and our Department of Labor and Workforce Development to advance Gov. Murphy’s vision for New Jersey, the State of Innovation.
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