Federal Report: Camden Had Nation’s Highest Percentage Employment Increases Over the Past Year

The largest over-the-year percentage growth in employment among the nation’s metropolitan regions occurred in the Camden metro area, with a 3.7-percent increase, according to a report issued this week by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The BLS data, citing nonfarm payroll employment from February 2016 to February 2017, covered increases in 34 of the 38 metropolitan divisions nationwide, including all five metro areas covering New Jersey, putting Camden at the top with the Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas.

Building on the employment momentum in the Camden metro area, the administration of Governor Chris Christie, through the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, is working with Mayor Dana Redd and Camden County College to advance a job training and readiness pathway for City residents. This program is centered on customized customer service, workplace ethics, job counseling, and HUD certified financial literacy training.

Just yesterday, administration officials were in Camden celebrating a year-old Camden Corps Plus program, which was launched last summer to provide basic skills education, occupational training and employment opportunities to 16- to 24-year-old residents of the City of Camden who have not completed high school. A total of 85 young people are participating in the program, and some have already found full-time jobs.

Under Governor Chris Christie, Camden Is Experiencing Major Economic Development:

  • American Water: A groundbreaking was held in early March for American Water’s new 250,000-square-foot headquarters, hosted by American Water and Liberty Property Trust. American Water was approved for $164 million in Grow NJ tax credits over 10 years, associated with the retention of 596 jobs at risk of leaving the State for Philadelphia, and creation of an additional 100 jobs. The project will consolidate employees from other south Jersey office locations where leases are expiring.
  • Resintech: A manufacturer of resins for water and waste water treatment was approved in October 2016 for Grow NJ tax credits of up to $138.8 million associated with the creation of a group of buildings in Camden, which are expected to house 173 new employees and 92 retained employees.  The project is expected to create more than 600 construction jobs.
  • EMR Eastern: Scrap metal recycler EMR Eastern LLC, was approved in September for up to $252.7 million in Grow NJ tax credits over 10 years, which the company has certified will be a material factor in its decision to either expand in Camden, a Garden State Growth Zone, or at an existing company location in New Orleans.  The project is associated with more than 285 new jobs and 1,274 construction jobs and 156 positions at risk of leaving the state.  Just 62 of the 156 possibly retained positions are counting towards the project’s award eligibility, as they would be new to Camden and coming from other EMR facilities across the state.
  • Camden Waterfront Project: Governor Christie announced the new $700 million Camden Waterfront development project in September 2015. The development will be the largest private sector investment in Camden’s history, creating thousands of construction jobs and bringing thousands of permanent jobs to the city. The plan calls for 1.5 million square feet of office space and will include a hotel and a residential component.
  • Holtec Manufacturing Facility: Holtec International, a leading-edge energy technology company, began moving employees into its massive 600,000 square foot manufacturing and design facility on the Camden Waterfront in April.  Holtec’s $260 million investment in the facility is the largest ever capital infusion in the City of Camden. The company, which was approved for $260 million in Grow NJ tax credits expects to employ nearly 400 people at the manufacturing facility, including welders, machinists, laborers, engineers and corporate staff at the site by summer.  The welders have basic skills they acquired through Camden County College’s Corporate Training Institute welding program, or through prior work experience.  Welders learn skills specific to Holtec’s manufacturing processes — while creating fixtures for Holtec facilities in Camden, Pittsburgh and Ohio, as well as field sites nationwide.

o   Bringing a large-scale manufacturing facility to Camden enhances the City’s position in the manufacturing industry, and creates skilled jobs, as well as opportunities for suppliers both locally and throughout the State. Holtec engaged New Jersey-based Jingoli Construction, and has retained many local suppliers for construction materials, security services, and other key resources for its new facility. Holtec’s CEO Dr. Kris Singh has indicated that he expects the company will employ more than 1,000 in Camden by the end of the decade

  • Cooper University Cancer Research Center: The development of the new $100 million cancer center created via a partnership between Cooper University and MD Anderson Cancer Center was supported by a $1 million grant from the Economic Recovery Board for Camden in 2011. MD Anderson is one of the nation’s premier cancer treatment and research centers.
  • Rutgers Nursing and Science Building: Construction is nearly complete on the new Nursing and Science Building at Rutgers University–Camden. The 100,000-square-foot state-of-the-art building will serve as a teaching and research facility that will allow Rutgers to expand its ability to prepare a new generation of science and nursing leaders for New Jersey and the region.
  • Philadelphia 76ers Practice Facility: A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the Philadelphia 76ers’ new 120,000-square-foot practice facility on the Camden riverfront in August 2016. Located on a four-acre tract of land that was previously a parking lot, the brand-new $82 million building, which houses the team’s front office operations, has brought more than 250 new and relocated jobs to the city.
  • Subaru of America Headquarters and Service/Training Center: Construction is underway on Subaru of America’s new headquarters and training center, which was approved for up to $117.8 million in Grow NJ tax credits. This project involves the creation of 100 new jobs, and the retention of 500 “at risk” jobs.
  • Cooper Health Office Consolidation: Cooper Health is expanding its footprint in the City by consolidating back office operations from various locations to one Camden facility rather than relocating these operations to Philadelphia. Cooper was approved for up to $39.9 million in tax credits. The project involves the retention of 353 “at risk” jobs and the creation of 19 new jobs.
  • Lockheed Martin Laboratory Facilities: Defense contractor Lockheed Martin was approved for up to $107 million in Grow NJ tax credits to create two fully integrated laboratory facilities in Camden, bringing 250 employees to the City.
  • Cooper Village: Approved for up to $6.1 million through the Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) program, this two-phase development will support demand for student and faculty housing in the city, help reduce vacant properties, and expand the stability of the Cooper Plaza Historic District. Developed by Broadway Housing Partners and Ironstone Strategic Capital Partners, Phase I includes the renovation of four buildings, which will house 21 residential units and one commercial unit; Phase II includes the construction of two new buildings, which will feature 38 residential units and one commercial unit.
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