New Jersey’s Defense Industry: Are We Taking It for Granted?

June 13, 2013
Burlington County College
Mt. Laurel, New Jersey
Ted Zangari
PlanSmart NJ
Steven R. Rothman, Chair of the Firm's interdisciplinary Defense Industry Group, was the keynote speaker of the conference, and Ted Zangari,  C hair of the Firm’s Public Policy and Governmental Affairs Practice Group  participated in a panel entitled "How Can Regional Planning Strengthen NJ's Aerospace and Defense Sector?"

The US military is the second largest employer in the state (after only the state itself) and is critical to the state’s economy. The Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst alone boasts 44,000 jobs spread over 42,000 acres in Burlington and Ocean Counties. JBMDL’s economic impact is a whopping and arguably irreplaceable $7.9 billion annually. And yet planners, economists and policy wonks rarely consider policies that may be needed to support this important sector of New Jersey’s economy.

What as a State should we be considering to support the defense industry? Is there enough housing in the right location to house defense industry workers? Can our transportation network move goods and people to the places they need efficiently and economically? Do we have reliable utility networks? Can small businesses thrive in the communities serving the Base? Are the regional plans that we have in place being effectively implemented? PlanSmart NJ’s Defense Industry: Are We Taking It for Granted? Conference will bring together experts for a half-day event to discuss what policies are working and what policies we need to put in place to bolster New Jersey’s defense industry.