After being released by the Senate Economic Growth Committee last week, a resolution that would create an economic development task force in several South Jersey counties was approved Monday by the Senate.
The measure, sponsored by state Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May Court House), would aim to bolster job creation and economic activity through policies, regulations and incentives in the First Legislative District counties of Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland.
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“The economic recession caused real hardship for residents across the state but it hit this region extremely hard,” Van Drew said. “We have to find ways to help create jobs and opportunity for our residents, who want nothing more than to get up in the morning and go to work.”
The task force would include an 11-member board made up of county and state officials, community college presidents, development leaders and official from the Economic Development Authority. Cape May and Cumberland counties would each host a minimum of two meetings in the 18 months allotted before a report of findings and recommendations is sent back to the Legislature.
Van Drew said the three-county area is home to some of the highest unemployment and poverty rates in the state.
“Too many people are without jobs and are struggling financially,” Van Drew said. “We owe it to them to come together to find real, tangible ways to create good-paying jobs and economic development in the region.”
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