New Jersey has long been known as a prime location for industrial manufacturing activity, particularly due to the fact that it is at the center of the Northeast corridor. This highly populated region is teeming with consumers so the demand for goods in the immediate area is very high. Manufacturers in the area benefit from a ready market and their close proximity to the eastern seaboard which makes international import and export across the Atlantic much easier. The efficient transportation of infrastructure of New Jersey combined with its many available distribution channels makes it a perfect base for manufacturers in many national and global industries.
The state of New Jersey is ranked 12th in manufacturing among the United States, and the manufacturing industry alone contributed more than $41.6 billion to the state’s GDP in 2013. Recent years have seen a shift towards more advanced manufacturing like pharmaceuticals, processed foods and technology. This type of advanced manufacturing has helped to stimulate growth in a state where traditional manufacturing has been declining over the past two decades. New Jersey was hit particularly hard during the financial crisis of 2008, but innovative and advanced manufacturing has helped to reverse the decline. Companies like Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Campbell’s Soup and Kraft Foods are among the many that have chosen to make New Jersey the permanent hub for their manufacturing activity.
In total, manufacturing represents almost 8% of New Jersey’s private-sector workforce. This significant piece of the state’s economy continues to grow as more companies move into the area. To help sustain this critical piece of the economy, the state has been working hard to aid in the development of a skilled workforce so that the growing demand for jobs in the industry can be met by local individuals who have been educated and equipped to perform well in one of the many positions of a large manufacturing corporation.