Annual Chamber Forum Brings High Ranking Officials to Saint Peter’s Campus

Several high ranking local and state officials gathered in the McIntyre Conference Center for the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Government Affairs Forum, hosted by The Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership.

Alongside chamber members, Saint Peter’s students and faculty were able to learn about current local and state development projects, taxes, transportation, infrastructure, business incentives and regulatory policies, among other issues. The forum included featured speaker, Hudson County Executive Thomas A. DeGise, and panelists Senator Sandra B. Cunningham, Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, Hudson County Freeholder Bill O’Dea and Jersey City Deputy Mayor Marcos Vigil. Philip Plotch, Ph.D., director of the Master of Public Administration program, served as the moderator.

“There’s great teamwork in this room here from the county, state and local governments, all covering issues we care about,” said Dr. Plotch. “All of us want to solve the problems and that requires us to all work together.”

Highlights included learning about plans to improve Jersey City’s infrastructure such as fixing the fountain in Lincoln Park, building a new court house and enhancing the city’s light rail transportation.

“Development doesn’t just happen; it needs to be sought, it needs to be nurtured and it needs to be worked upon,” said DeGise.

Attendees also learned about initiatives at the state level to create jobs and improve higher education in New Jersey. Sen. Cunningham emphasized the goal to ensure that when students finish college, that they are equipped with the necessary skills and are able to find jobs.

“We want to train young people to get more involved in science and math,” she added. “We want to be able to offer an education in New Jersey that they don’t have to go out of state to receive.”