This past Tuesday, Congressman Rob Andrews spoke to members of the Gloucester County Workforce Investment Board, a group comprised of local business and industry leaders, developers, and employees, to address the state of the local economy and to highlight major efforts that will put more people back to work.
At the economy's lowest point, Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester counties lost a total of 38,000 jobs. To date, nearly half of those jobs have been regained. Congressman Andrews noted that despite this progress, more work remains, and that there are still great opportunities for private sector job growth in South Jersey.
As a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Andrews is working to add an artillery firing range at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, which will create hundreds of construction jobs and provide an influx of servicemembers to the area, boosting the local economy. "The more reservists we bring in, the more business we get for the hotels, retail, and those who serve the base - whether you're a caterer, painter, or electrical firm," said Rep. Andrews.
Congressman Andrews also noted that the new Port of Paulsboro is on the verge of creating immense economic opportunities for both construction and wind-energy jobs. Andrews is working to secure federal grants to construct barges that will bring energy-generating windmills out to sea from the Port of Paulsboro, creating a new hub for economic activity in our community.
Additionally, Congressman Andrews is working with the Gloucester County Board of Freeholders and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to develop new industrial complexes in Gloucester County by expanding the sewer systems there - creating thousands of construction and permanent jobs. "One of the great recent job stories in South Jersey is that of the Purelands Industrial Complex in Bridgeport," said Rep. Andrews. "We need more economic development stories like that, but before we can build, we need to make sure there are adequate utility services."
"Job growth is the most important thing to Americans today," said Rep. Andrews. "Make no mistake, we are making great strides in opening up job opportunities here in South Jersey, and we are getting back to work."