WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez announced that Thomas Edison State College is receiving a $320,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to create a regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for 19 densely populated municipalities in north and central Jersey.
“I’m thrilled this grant was awarded to Thomas Edison State College to support the kind of smart, comprehensive economic development planning we need to create new jobs and strategically attract private investment,” said Sen. Menendez. “Our urban centers are our most viable engines of economic growth and I look forward to seeing this plan put into action.”
“We are honored to continue the work we started with the support of EDA to assess and develop strategies to promote economic growth and sustainability in nineteen cities within seven contiguous counties in north central New Jersey,” said Dr. Joseph Youngblood II, vice provost and dean of the John S. Watson School of Public Service and Continuing Studies at Thomas Edison State College. “Now, we will work with the Urban Mayors Association and other stakeholders in the targeted cities to create an economic development framework, process and actionable strategy to support private capital and job creation in the region.”
The strategic planning project will be implemented in partnership with the New Jersey Urban Mayors Association. The following municipalities will be included the regional plan: Bloomfield, East Orange, Irvington, Newark, Orange, Bayonne, Hoboken, Jersey City, Perth Amboy, Woodbridge, New Brunswick, Asbury Park, Neptune City, Lakewood, Passaic, Paterson, Elizabeth, Plainfield and Roselle. The comprehensive economic development strategy will encompass economic development, job creation and transportation access.
EDA grants are awarded through a competitive process based upon the applicant’s eligibility, application’s merit, and the availability of funds. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.