At a time when most people think manufacturing in this country is on the skids, New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt (D-12) said he is encouraged to see several small and mid-sized companies in the state doing imaginative manufacturing that is putting people to work.
Holt wrapped up a weeklong tour of innovative central New Jersey manufacturers with a stop at Rutgers on Tuesday, where he and congressional colleague Frank Pallone (D-6) held a roundtable discussion to explore ways to expand manufacturing, create jobs, and engage New Jersey’s institutions of higher education.
“Everyone around the country has been busy writing the obituary for manufacturing in America,” said Holt, “and it’s clear to me it’s much premature.” He noted that more than 150,000 jobs have been created in manufacturing and that the sector has experienced 21 straight months of growth.
School of Engineering Dean Thomas Farris told the congressmen and several guests from New Jersey businesses about Rutgers’ strengths in manufacturing engineering, citing innovative programs in pharmaceutical manufacturing, recycled plastic lumber, and flexible batteries for implantable devices.
“It’s important to inspire our students to pursue innovation, and we are pleased that Rutgers plays a leading role in educating manufacturing engineers for the future,” said Farris.
Holt, whose district covers part of the Cook Campus, and Pallone, whose district covers the rest of Rutgers in New Brunswick and Piscataway, have been advocates for research and development funding and policies that encourage businesses to invest in innovation and manufacturing.Holt noted that much of the recent growth in manufacturing has come from small and mid-size corporations, such as those he visited last week.
“All of them are making an investment in their employees and making investments in research and development,” he said.
Joining Holt, Pallone and Farris at the roundtable were business owners, members of local business councils, and higher education leaders. After the roundtable, Holt visited the lab of Fernando Muzzio, professor II of chemical and biochemical engineering, where he saw processes that the university is developing to streamline pharmaceutical manufacturing and create medications with individualized doses.
Credit Carl Blesch Media Relations See Story HERE