MEDIA CONTACT:  Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137

TRENTON, N.J. - Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes, through the Office of Economic Development and Sustainability, has released new resources for the Mercer County business and economic development community.   The first of these tools will assist those interested in starting, maintaining or expanding a business in Mercer County, and the second will provide the economic and workforce development community with invaluable assistance in identifying the best opportunities for regional economic growth in the coming years.

The first resource is a new “How To” Business Handbook detailing the many incentives and programs available to the Mercer County business community.  The Handbook is an outgrowth of several roundtable discussions held by County Executive Hughes and members of the business community.  Businesses sought a clear and concise guide to the county, state and local programs that are available to private sector employers.  The Handbook provides a single source for that information and a guide to resources and contacts, at all levels of government, for both existing and start-up ventures.

“Education, technical assistance and financial support are the key ingredients to business success,” Hughes said. “Through the Business Handbook, we have streamlined county, state and local programs into a one-stop guide to promote business creation and expansion. Faced with the challenges of tighter lending guidelines and stiffer competition, it is imperative that businesses remain well-versed on the many initiatives available in our region. The Handbook provides a good summary of these opportunities.”

The second business resource is an economic and workforce development tool to help better position Mercer County for long-term economic growth.  Through a contract entered into between the County Workforce Investment Board and Economic Modeling Specialist, Inc. (“EMSI”) the County has access to a new employment data program that can be used to better understand research and regional employment trends in Mercer County.  The data, which is composed of quarterly updated information on industries, occupations and demographics, will provide the County with statistics that include 10-year projections for growth and decline of jobs by industry, jobs by occupation and demographics for a selected region.

In addition, EMSI was commissioned to provide a report focusing on and analyzing the growth industries within Mercer County, together with the occupations and skill sets that will be crucial to the long-term sustainability of those industries.  The report not only allows developers in Mercer County to identify the assets that give the Mercer region a competitive advantage, but provides the workforce data necessary to allow the workforce development community to tailor workforce education and training programs to ensure that these growth industries have a ready and able workforce to sustain development over the coming years.

“Through this resource, the County will stay ahead of the curve in attracting businesses of all shapes and sizes to our region,” said Hughes.  “Most importantly, it will serve as a mechanism to engage our industry leaders, including our Mercer County Workforce Investment Board, to identify skills necessary for entry level and career advancement jobs in specific industries of growth.”

The County will make available the EMSI report, together with quarterly updates regarding these economic data trends online through the Workforce Investment Board website at www.mercerwib.com. For information on the Handbook, please feel free to contact the County Office of Economic Development and Sustainability at (609) 989-6555 or access it online at www.businessinmercer.com.