4/12/2012 8:55:06 AM
NJBIZ: Becoming an Economic Center of Excellence
Growing up in Camden, New Jersey and later serving as a City Councilman there, I experienced how the process of disinvestment can lead communities to despair. Years later, when I taught Urban Economics at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania, I became intrigued by the factors that drive business investment decisions.
I was fortunate that I was able to spend time observing and implementing economic development strategies, first as one of Mayor Ed Rendell’s volunteer business ambassadors for Philadelphia and subsequently as New Jersey’s Secretary of Commerce. During and after my tour of duty with New Jersey, I visited many jurisdictions that are economic centers of excellence and many that aspire to be.
After years of toiling in the vineyards and exchanging views and experiences with economic development professionals and business executives throughout the world, I believe that I may have begun to understand the factors and strategies that can help propel a region to economic success.