A jump on the future

N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy shares strategy to boost economy with business leaders at NJPAC.

 

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy made NJPAC a whistle stop on the stump in support of his just-released master plan, but the train from Red Bank to Newark was running 17 minutes late on October 4. Nevertheless, he arrived right on time to address NJPAC’s Business Partners Roundtable, the opener for the 2018-19 season of breakfast conversations attended by chief executives of mega-corporations as well as small-business entrepreneurs.

 

“We will fix NJ Transit. Period. This is entirely fixable,” he vowed later in his speech, expressing optimism on efforts to meet Positive Train Control standards for transportation equipment and training.

 

Because New Jersey bottoms out at No. 49 in national rankings of job and wage growth, Murphy prioritized those areas in his mission to elevate the State’s “good value for the money.” Between now and 2025, he expects some 300,000 new jobs to be generated, and commended Amazon for agreeing to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for its employees, 16,000 of whom work in New Jersey.   

 

 

Other goals put forward by the Governor included shrinking the persistence of poverty and inequities in race and gender, and creating an “innovation ecosystem” by advancing diversity and expanding and retaining the State’s talent pool. Pointing to the nationally recognized excellence of New Jersey’s public schools, the Governor noted the Community College Innovation Challenge – a program to provide children of low-income families with free tuition – will launch early next year with 13 community colleges on board.

 

Murphy backed new funding models for the revitalization of urban communities and start-up businesses, pledging to utilize government as “a friendly partner and not an impediment.” He identified clean energy/wind power, women’s issues, LGBTQ rights, and gun safety legislation as additional areas of concern and action in his administration.

 

 

NJPAC’s Business Partners Roundtable is sponsored by PNC. Next up is Planes, Trains and Automobiles, a panel focused on transportation infrastructure, on October 29.

 

Oct. 5, 2018

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