Withum, NJMEP, Morris and Somerset chambers create Manufacturing Cabinet

In an attempt to further build manufacturing in the state, accounting firm Withum has joined with the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, the Morris County Chamber of Commerce and the Somerset County Business Partnership to create the Manufacturing Cabinet, an industry group to serve manufacturers and other supply chain companies.

Officials from the organizations say the Manufacturing Cabinet comes at a time when the manufacturing industry has seen a renaissance, spurred by job growth and favorable tax reform incentives.

Jim Hannan, practice leader of Withum’s manufacturing, distribution and logistics service group, said the time is right for such a group.

“Given the renewed national and regional focus on manufacturing as a stimulus for economic growth and expansion, Withum and its Manufacturing Cabinet co-founders established this group to advance the full spectrum of manufacturing in New Jersey and beyond, from logistics and distribution to the entire supply chain,” Hannan said. “As the sector continues its comeback, the Manufacturing Cabinet is bringing together some of business and industry’s greatest minds.”

John Kennedy, CEO of NJMEP, Paul Boudreau, president of Morris County Chamber of Commerce, and Michael Kerwin, CEO and president of Somerset County Business Partnership, also will be on the leadership team.

The Manufacturing Cabinet not only will advocate for the industry, but it will host thought leadership events, too.

Its first event will be June 6, when the group hosts “Driving Business through Sustainability” featuring Columbia University professor William “Bill” Russell, who also is a principal of a sustainability management consulting company called Transitioning to Green Inc.

The event will be held from 5:30-8 p.m. at The Madison Hotel in Morristown. (Advance registration is required and seating is limited. For more information, contact Withum’s Matt Basilo at mbasilo@withum.com.)

Manufacturing Cabinet officials say New Jersey has more than 10,500 manufacturing businesses and over 360,000 jobs — and that both numbers are growing.

Kennedy said the group can help drive a rebirth of manufacturing, taking advantage of the state’s highly educated workforce as well as the largest port facility on the East Coast and an extensive highway and rail network.

“This cabinet further enhances our mission of advocating for and improving the productivity and global competitiveness of small and medium-sized manufacturers and companies within the supply chain throughout New Jersey,” Kennedy said. “We look forward to working with these organizations where we can all provide solutions that will grow both their businesses and the New Jersey economy.”

The group said Morris and Somerset counties are in position to benefit because major interstates 78, 80, 95 and 287 feed the state’s manufacturing hotbeds.

In Morris and Somerset counties, the manufacturing base encompasses pharmaceuticals, metals, plastics, production technology and scientific instrumentation. This sector is also a leading contributor to the strength of office, industrial and residential real estate performance in both these counties.