The Vision:  A competitive North Jersey is a place where residents have the education, training, skills, and transportation needed to find (and get to) well-paying jobs. It’s home to a variety of growing industries, especially high-tech and cutting-edge fields, that offer a range of opportunities accessible to all residents. It supports innovation, collaboration, partnership and entrepreneurship in a flourishing 21st century economy.

The Strategies:  The Strategies listed below will help our region work towards a more competitive future:

Focus Area 1:  Create and retain well-paying jobs by supporting growth in our region’s key industries

  • Strategy 1.1: Develop and implement a pilot program that makes it easier for businesses to obtain the permits they need to locate and expand in the region.
  • Strategy 1.2: Explore creating an organization to help coordinate economic development activities region-wide.
  • Strategy 1.3: Provide a forum for highlighting the economic and workforce development needs of our region’s key industries.
  • Strategy 1.4: Consider creating a North Jersey Futures Council
  • Strategy 1.5: Connect small businesses that support the region’s innovation clusters to growth and development opportunities.

Focus Area 2: Enhance North Jersey’s innovations and entrepreneurship ecosystem

  • Strategy 2.1: Expand the technical assistance and networking resources available to the region’s startups and second-stage companies.
  • Strategy 2.2: Establish a regional system of virtual incubators
  • Strategy 2.3: Foster other types of shared workspaces and connect them to economic development and finance programs.
  • Strategy 2.4: Create and capitalize a regional innovation fund

Focus Area 3: Strengthen the region’s economy by building on existing assets and infrastructure

  • Strategy 3.1: Use the region’s transportation infrastructure as a framework for future investment.
  • Strategy 3.2: Leverage the region’s role as a major freight distribution hub.
  • Strategy 3.3: Strengthen tourism by promoting North Jersey’s arts, cultural, recreational, historic and natural amenities.
  • Strategy 3.4: Support and expand agricultural businesses, urban farming and agritourism.

Focus Area 4: Align workforce training with industry needs

  • Strategy 4.1: Align workforce development efforts with industry needs through improved data collection and enhanced coordination
  • Strategy 4.2: Expand occupational and soft skills training programs to address barriers to employment for disadvantaged workers.
  • Strategy 4.3: Help incumbent workers transition to living wage occupations.
  • Strategy 4.4: Create a regional apprenticeship and internship program for non-college-bound students.
  • Strategy 4.5: Promote skilled trades and other traditional vocational and technical programs
  • Strategy 4.6: Promote workforce development strategies to support the state’s tourism industry

The Task Force:   The Competitive Task Force meets quarterly to discuss progress on implementing these strategies and make suggestions for training and technical assistance pertaining to the topics under the Competitive Theme.  The Task Force is chaired by Michael McGuinness (Chief Executive Officer, NAIOP New Jersey) and Michael Kerwin (President & CEO, Somerset County Business Partnership).  Download the Task Forces Overview for more information. 

Meeting materials and summaries of Competitive Task Force meetings are available below:


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