USDA’s Rural Development and Farm Service Agency hosted a Jobs and Economic Growth Forum on January 5, 2010 at the Rutgers EcoComplex in Bordentown, NJ. USDA was asked to lead the effort to listen to community leaders, non-profit organizations, business owners, economists, federal, state and local officials on how to stimulate job creation in New Jersey. This Forum followed the lead of President Obama’s December 3, 2009 Roundtable discussion.
We were very pleased and fortunate to have Senator Bob Menendez and Congressman John Adler present to address the diverse audience of over 50 attendees. Both Senator Menendez and Congressman Adler offered specific thoughts on plans for economic growth. Providing keynote addresses were New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Doug Fisher, nationally renowned Economists Dr. James Hughes and Dr. Joe Seneca from Rutgers University as well as Brian Schilling of the Food Policy Institute of Rutgers University. The agricultural community and rural interests were also well represented at the Forum. Everyone shared their thoughts on ways to improve the economy and how their organization may be able to partner with other organizations to further this initiative.
Major obstacles to economic growth, such as lack of capital for small businesses, tax and regulatory requirements and lack of a skilled workforce, were discussed. Innovative ideas to lead to job creation were presented.
We want to thank all those that attended for their participation and give a special thanks to Rutgers University for providing the facilities for this great event.
To learn more, go to the Rural Development and FSA Job Roundtables Schedule, and the News Release, “USDA to Host Roundtables on Jobs, Economic Growth”.
By Howard Henderson, NJ State Director, USDA Rural Development