The goal of the new legislative Manufacturing Caucus is to redraft state policies to take advantage of an expected renaissance in the industry–one where new technology is the key to success, not cheap overseas labor. Legislators kicked off the effort with a public hearing yesterday in Paterson, the birthplace of manufacturing, and John Reitmeyer of the news website NJ Spotlight was there.

“From robotics and automation to biotech and chemical engineering, a group of state lawmakers in the midst of evaluating New Jersey policies related to the manufacturing industry got a crash course yesterday on how technology is reshaping a sector that used to dominate the state’s economy,” he wrote. (Read the full story here.)

NJBIA had long advocated for the Manufacturing Caucus, which was launched in August. Manufacturing will be crucial to New Jersey’s long-term economic growth and creation of good-paying jobs, said Melanie Willoughby, NJBIA’s Chief Legislative Affairs Officer.

“No one legislative initiative is going to address all of the challenges New Jersey manufacturers face,” Willoughby said. “What the state needs is a sustained effort to support manufacturers on taxes, regulations, and education policies so our businesses to compete globally. A strong manufacturing sector will benefit everyone economically.”