NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – In its second major policy forum, New Start New Jersey, together with experts from the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, presented innovative strategies and plans to make urban municipalities the incubators for advanced industries that create good jobs and reinvigorate New Jersey’s middle class.
Together, NSNJ and Brookings introduced “New Jersey’s Advanced Industries: What They Are & Why They Matter
,” an analysis of R&D- and STEM-oriented fields with the potential to deliver innovative, inclusive and sustainable growth throughout the state’s economy, with an emphasis on urban areas. The analysis was presented at the headquarters of Audible, Inc. in Newark.
“New Jersey’s middle class and our cities are both struggling. Promoting our advanced industries- especially using the assets of our urban areas- will generate the type of activity that will stimulate employment and increase wages,” said Philip D. Murphy, Chairman and Co-Founder of New Start New Jersey. “A cohesive strategy that ties together the assets of our higher education system, our intellectual capital, our workforce, our location, our manufacturing capacity and our infrastructure holds tremendous promise for our entire state, particularly for our cities.”
“Advanced industries play a leading role in fueling economic development,” said Bruce Katz, Vice President and Founding Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings. “Our research has shown that when public, private and civic leaders collaborate to grow initiatives like jobs-oriented community college programs, workforce training and applied research investments entire regions reap the benefits.”
“The regions experiencing real economic success are generating economic growth by building true capacities, not just through firm attraction and tax breaks,” said Mark Muro, Senior Fellow and Policy Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings. “Putting programs in place that support technology innovation, generate skilled workers and encourage regional partnerships foster growth that perpetuates itself.”
To discuss the recommendations offered by Brookings, New Start New Jersey convened a panel of experts, which included: Joel Bloom, President of the New Jersey Institute of Technology; Debbie Hart, President and CEO of BioNJ; Kathleen Scotto, Chair of the Research & Development Council of New Jersey and Vice Chancellor of Research, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences; and Dwayne Warren, Mayor of Orange.
Having unveiled its national advanced-industries initiative earlier this year, the Metropolitan Policy Program provided a targeted assessment of New Jersey’s inherent resources and challenges, offering recommendations for how the state could amplify its investments and activity related to advanced industries, including committing to innovation, recharging its skills pipeline and embracing an advanced-industries ecosystem.
The Metropolitan Policy Program defines advanced industries as those that: (a) spend at least $450 per worker per year on R&D; and (b) employ at least 20 percent of their workforce in STEM-intensive occupations. The definition identifies 50 industries across the manufacturing, energy and services sectors that together constitute the advanced industries super-sector.
According to Brookings, New Jersey’s advanced industries directly employ 326,130 fulltime workers, indirectly supporting an additional 260,900 jobs in other fields. Advanced industries produce $72.4 billion of output in the region, accounting for 14 percent all regional output. Advanced industries pay an average salary of $105,130, as compared to average pay of $58,750 for all industries. Advanced-industries jobs in the state have grown only by 0.2 percent from 2010-2013, as measured against 2.7 percent growth nationwide. New Jersey’s advanced-industries output reached 0.5 percent from 2010-2013, below the 3.8 percent experienced throughout the country.