The global COVID-19 pandemic obviously had a major impact on business development all over the world. That’s why Ralph LaRossa, chairman of Choose New Jersey and chief operating officer of Public Service Enterprise Group, was so thrilled with the efforts of Choose in 2021.
According to its annual report, released Thursday morning, Choose New Jersey assisted 32 companies in relocating or expanding to the state, resulting in 7,629 new and retained jobs and generating $1.6 billion in capital investment.
“It is remarkable how much Choose New Jersey has achieved during the second year of a global pandemic,” LaRossa said. “Not only did the team have a record year for job creation, but we were also able to raise the state’s presence internationally. Choose New Jersey facilitated several high-profile global business attraction projects demonstrating the advantages of New Jersey.”
For every dollar contributed to Choose New Jersey in 2021, the organization said it invested nearly $450 back into New Jersey’s economy. Approaching the 11th year of the organization’s founding, Choose New Jersey has assisted a total of 335 companies, resulting in nearly 39,000 new and retained jobs and generating $7.7 billion in capital investment.
Wes Mathews, who succeeded Jose Lozano as CEO earlier this year, said the future is bright.
“New Jersey is a major global contender for companies to expand and grow their business, thanks to the leadership of Choose New Jersey,” he said. “Choose New Jersey has been extremely successful in planting the flag abroad and working closely with global partners. I look forward to building upon this progress by expanding the organization’s international and domestic reach, exploring opportunities in new markets.”
In 2021, Choose New Jersey deepened its focus on attracting international companies to relocate or expand in New Jersey. Despite COVID-19 travel restrictions, Choose New Jersey was able to grow its international business pipeline and hit targets within strategic regions across the globe.
Choose officials cited their relationship with Israel as one of their top successes in 2021.
In November, Choose New Jersey made its fourth trip to Israel, further strengthening longstanding ties between New Jersey and Israel. Choose announced two major agreements during the trip:
- Rutgers and Tel Aviv University signed a memorandum of understanding to form the Collaborative Research Grant program and for TAU to have a presence at the Hub in New Brunswick;
- NJCU and Ashdod Port Co. signed a letter of intent to collaborate on projects that will advance innovation, economic development and international education.
Mitch Livingston, the CEO of NJM Insurance and the business development chair for Choose, said the efforts are making an impact.
“From impressive job growth to the increased interest from businesses around the world, it’s clear Choose New Jersey is setting our state on a strong path,” he said. “The future looks promising for the organization, as Wesley Mathews’ extensive foreign service experience will surely be invaluable in growing the international pipeline.”
Dan Lynch, vice president of corporate partnerships for the New York Giants and marketing committee chair at Choose, agreed.
“Choose New Jersey has done a tremendous job marketing the state of New Jersey through the COVID-19 crisis,” he said. “The State of Innovation campaign has delivered real results from the last three grants, and you can see through the numbers that the team has continued to build and expand on their success.”
The report highlighted Choose New Jersey’s many noteworthy accomplishments over the past year, including:
- Choose New Jersey welcomed the FIFA committee for the New York/New Jersey host city bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup tournament, successfully positioning the region as a top contender;
- Fiserv, a Fortune 500 fintech company, is expanding its New Jersey footprint with a Berkeley Heights office employing 3,000 technology workers;
- Princeton-based global venture capital firm SOSV chose Newark to be the home of the new HAX headquarters and accelerator. After a competitive search, SOSV chose Newark as the best place to support the growth of hard tech startups;
- Choose New Jersey was awarded another $5 million grant allocation from the state of New Jersey to continue its international State of Innovation business attraction marketing campaign.