Looks like Chris Christie's jobs growth numbers are poised for another hit.
The towering monument to a time when Nutley had a place where one could get a job.
The news that Roche will be closing its Nutley operations
, adding yet more people to the unemployment rolls in the process, is the latest farewell wave in a long-drawn-out exit from the Garden State by the drug company, which has had a farewell tour to rival Cher
's of 2003-05; the company had sent scientists, and its sales and marketing departments, to Genentech, in South San Francisco, Calif.
, in 2008, before Tuesday's announcement.
The interesting tidbit from our coverage Tuesday, though, was that Roche wasn't giving up on the East Coast entirely. It will still employ 400 people at a Branchburg diagnostics facility after the Nutley building closes, and it is looking for a location in the region to play host to a clinical research center. Some 240 people of the 1,000 currently in Nutley will be given jobs at the research center; the rest will be looking to sweep the floors at Revel
, or something.
Now, with tinfoil hat firmly on head, I ask: Is this the first step in Roche's bid to get a Grow New Jersey award
It's got all the ingredients we've come to expect from incentives like this: A company seeking a shiny new building, and at-risk jobs that could wind up out of state. Added to the mix here would be the vaguely nauseating sensation that we'd be giving tax breaks to a company that's cutting jobs, not adding them, but Trenton would be quick to focus on 240 jobs saved, not 760 jobs lost.
Could such a thing happen? The Economic Development Authority has a stringent process it goes through before awarding Grow New Jersey credits, and you'd have to think something like this doesn't pass the sniff test. But competition for companies like Roche
is so fierce, it makes "Hunger Games" look like a summer picnic. If Honeywell International successfully holds up the state's bank at gunpoint
lands additional incentives, you have to believe anything goes.
I'm even more irreverent on Twitter @joe_arney.