Whippany, N.J./Morris & Somerset Counties, N.J. – The Manufacturing Cabinet of New Jersey, a new consortia of industry organizations committed to advancing the sector as a vital economic stimulus, recently hosted its kick-off event featuring Columbia University professor William “Bill” Russell as the keynote speaker. The group was founded earlier this year by the Manufacturing, Distribution and Logistics Services Group at WithumSmith+Brown (Withum) PC; Morris County Chamber of Commerce; Somerset County Business Partnership and New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP).

Participants at the premier event, recently held at The Madison Hotel in Morristown, discussed “Driving Business through Sustainability,” the topic of Russell’s presentation. The professor also is a principal with Transitioning to Green, Inc., a sustainability management company.

In New Jersey, there are more than 10,500 manufacturing businesses and over 360,000 jobs – both of which are growing. Driving this manufacturing rebirth is New Jersey’s highly educated workforce, the East Coast’s largest port facility and an extensive highway and rail network. In addition, the state’s high population density is a magnet for retailers.

“The manufacturing sector is making quite the comeback, given the renewed national and regional focus on this sector and its proven track record as a stimulus for economic growth and expansion,” said Jim Hannan, practice leader of Withum’s Manufacturing, Distribution & Logistics Service Group (left) and a co-founder of the Cabinet along with (second from left to right) Paul Boudreau, president of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce; John Kennedy, CEO of NJMEP and Mike Kerwin, president and CEO of the Somerset County Business Partnership.

New Jersey’s strategic location along major Interstates 78, 80, 95 and 287 feeds the state’s manufacturing hotbeds, including those in Morris and Somerset counties where the manufacturing base encompasses pharmaceuticals, metals, plastics, production technology and scientific instrumentation. This sector is also a leading contributor to the strength of office, industrial and residential real estate performance statewide.