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Manufacturers plan events to create interest in industry

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Manufacturing advocates will host two events on Oct. 4 to coincide with National Manufacturing Day — one at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, in Newark, and another at Rutgers University, in New Brunswick.

The goal is to highlight the sector's economic importance to the state and the initiatives now underway to encourage more people to pursue careers in manufacturing.

Manufacture NJ — the state Department of Labor talent network devoted to developing skilled and well-paid manufacturing jobs — will present the NJIT program from 9:30 a.m. to noon. There will be a panel discussion among the chief executives of manufacturing companies, educators and manufacturing associations.

The program at the Rutgers University student center in Piscataway, 8 a.m. to noon, is sponsored by the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, a nonprofit that advises manufacturers on how to improve productivity and expand their market. Several speakers will talk about the state's manufacturing sector, and in conjunction with Manufacturing Day, and several manufacturers will offer tours of their plants.
"New Jersey's manufacturing community plays a critical part in our state's economic improvement," said John Kennedy, chief operating officer of NJMEP, and the event "is an excellent way to celebrate their contributions."

Ray Vaccari, director of the Manufacture NJ talent network, said the hope is that having two events on Oct. 4, in Newark and New Brunswick, will make it easier for manufacturers throughout the state to participate.

The goal is to "get the word out that manufacturing is back in New Jersey and doing well — and that we need people," Vaccari said. The events will "bring together manufacturers, educators and potential students, and make them aware of the areas for success in manufacturing."

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Beth Fitzgerald

Beth Fitzgerald

Beth Fitzgerald reports on health care, small business and higher education. She joined NJBIZ in 2008 after a 34-year career at the Star-Ledger and has been reporting on business in New Jersey since 1978. Her email is beth@njbiz.com and she is @bethfitzgerald8 on Twitter.

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