Message from Freeholder Director
Workforce development, economic development, infrastructure and quality of life – these components unite to secure and retain jobs in a community. Job creation and retention are main priorities of the Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders and we focus on each of these initiatives to ensure our county remains a first-class place to live and work.
In spite of several setbacks caused by Mother Nature and the Paulsboro train derailment, 2012 was a successful year for job growth and retention in Gloucester County. Through our Office of Economic Development, 602 new jobs were created with the arrival of new businesses and 500 jobs were retained as a result of the hard work of our Economic Development office and the county Workforce Investment Board. Both groups visited more than 80 local businesses to discuss financing options, offer training services and provide incentives to keep businesses in Gloucester County.
In 2012, the county received the National Award of Excellence by Expansion Solutions in the food processing category and was recognized as one of the top five areas in the nation for food processing and manufacturing. The announcement by Albert’s Organics in Logan Township to expand by constructing a 70,000 square-foot facility, thereby retaining 140 jobs and adding more, confirms this well-deserved recognition.
The Freeholders recognize education as a foundation to a successful workforce; schools have been built for special needs and autistic students, the technical school and high school academy programs have been expanded and Gloucester County College has opened its University Center for students who seek four-year degrees without leaving campus and strengthened its focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The college’s Division of Nursing and Allied Health serves more than 20 percent of the county college’s student population and it continues to develop programs to meet the demand for employees in the ultrasound, nuclear medicine technology and nursing fields. For this reason, work is underway to construct a state-of-the-art Nursing and Allied Health building on the GCC campus and to renovate the existing health center for use as an industry training center.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, significant progress was made to improve infrastructure and preserve land. These efforts will continue as the county embarks on several major federally funded road projects. In October, 2012, an $18.5 million federal grant was awarded to improve the infrastructure of the region’s rail lines and construct a line at the Port of Paulsboro. Continued construction at the Port of Paulsboro is guaranteed to generate jobs and entice business to that end of the county.
As we move ahead, Gloucester County will continue to strengthen the quality of its services to residents, thus enhancing the quality of life in an area that is "close to everything, far from it all."
Robert M. Damminger