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New Jersey Creates Commission on Jobs, Growth and Economic Development

April 25, 2003

To help make his state a leader in research, development and innovation, New Jersey Governor James McGreevey recently signed an executive order establishing the Commission on Jobs, Growth and Economic Development. Highlighting the state's strengths but calling for it to move forward, even with a $5 billion budget shortfall looming, the governor said the commission is needed to put New Jersey in position to be more competitive.

The commission is being charged with five primary functions, including:

  • Working to make New Jersey's university research sector a strong partner for industry;
  • Ensuring that the state has policies and programs in place to support research and development;
  • Developing plans that will attract more federal funding for research;
  • Supporting new businesses and guaranteeing that New Jersey's workforce is trained for high tech jobs; and,
  • Identifying important, emerging technologies and the resources needed to support them.

New Jersey's strengths are largely found in its research universities, the governor noted. To improve upon this area, however, Governor McGreevey said the state is working to restructure the present system in favor of an "innovation triangle of partnerships" involving the State of New Jersey, the research university community and the private sector. He added that the commission would exhaustively examine the educational system and recommend strategies "to ensure that teachers, students and facilities are prepared for the innovation economy."

Earlier this year, Governor McGreevey recommended elimination of the state's lead tech-based economic development, the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology, which has provided funding for university-industry partnerships. The governor will co-chair the new commission with Dr. P. Roy Vagelos, Merck and Company's former CEO, and Shirley Tilghman, president of Princeton University, a press report held. The governor's speech announcing the creation of the panel is available at: http://www.state.nj.us/governor/speeches/030415_jobs.html

New Jersey