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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker to Host a Small Business Forum for New Jersey Manufacturers on the NJIT Campus

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker will host a forum for small manufacturers on the NJIT campus on Friday, May 16 that will address common challenges to expansion and stability such as access to capital and growth through exporting and new market development, while also apprising business owners of available federal resources.

The forum will include a panel discussion on strategies for innovation and growth, followed by breakout sessions on manufacturing certifications and access to capital. The event is open to businesses at every stage of development – from newly created to established companies.

Following Sen. Booker’s opening remarks, Donald Sebastian, the president of the New Jersey Innovation Institute, an NJIT corporation established to spur business innovation through the leveraging of industry, government, and higher education assets and investment, will moderate the panel on innovation and growth. Participants in the discussion will include representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc., the Manufacturing Institute, the Department of Supply Chain Management and Marketing Sciences at Rutgers Business School, and Eastern Millwork, Inc., a local manufacturer.

“We often talk about innovative products but forget the importance of innovation to production processes,” commented Sebastian.  “New technologies for manufacturing everything from biomolecules to battleships will be the key to commercial success and our companies need to reclaim dominance in this space.”

Participants in the breakout sessions will include leading experts in certification and environmental compliance, efficiency experts from the manufacturing sector, private banks, and public lending agencies, among others. Dolcey Chaplin, the director of the Procurement Center at NJIT, which provides free assistance to small business seeking to sell products and services to large business and government agencies, will take part in the certification session.

The forum on Friday is the third in a series of discussions hosted by Sen. Booker designed to address the needs of small businesses in the state.

“Small business drives economic growth in this country and so it’s critical that business owners understand how they can access capital,” said Judith Sheft, NJIT’s associate vice president of technology development.

NJIT’s Division of Continuing Professional Education heads the state’s Advanced Manufacturing Talent Network, one of seven networks designed to address the specific needs of industry sectors, including financial services; healthcare; transportation; logistics and distribution; life sciences; hospitality and retail; and technology and entrepreneurship. A central aim of the networks is to help current underemployed or unemployed workers develop relevant skills that lead to jobs and to in turn help employers find qualified workers.


WHAT: Small Business Forum for Local Manufacturers Hosted by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker

WHEN: Friday, May 16, 2014, 8:00AM – 11:00AM (registration starts at 7:30AM)

*Please note: Senator Booker will deliver welcoming remarks at 8:00AM

WHERE:  New Jersey Institute of Technology

                   College of Architecture and Design in Weston Hall

                   154 Summit Street, Newark, NJ 07102

 ** Parking is available (free) in the NJIT deck - 154 Summit Street, Newark.  For a campus map:  http://www.njit.edu/about/visit/njit-maps.php.           

Interested manufacturers and small business owners can RSVP for the event by calling 973-639-8700.

One of the nation’s leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT’s multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of 11,400 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering and cybersecurity, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $121 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com. NJIT has a $1.74 billion annual economic impact on the State of New Jersey.