Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey

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CIANJ President's Message

"A Win-Win for New Jersey"



by John Galandak, September 2014 COMMERCE Magazine Column

As the New Jersey business community already knows, one of New Jersey’s key strengths is its well-educated workforce, which has been a driver of economic growth and private sector job creation for generations. As home to many of the finest colleges and universities, the Garden State also is headquarters to many of the world’s top companies— and it has major operations for still more firms based throughout its cities and towns.

But a changing marketplace and global competition has challenged higher education institutions to combine old school fundamentals with innovations designed to address the new world of opportunities and challenges facing today’s graduates and tomorrow’s business leaders. An intense competition for capital investment and students has ensued. New Jersey’s top education leaders are starting to strategize about how to better partner with employers to sync curriculum with real-world opportunities, and to create incentives and programs to attract more companies to the Garden State.

With so many colleges and universities as members, the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ) is uniquely positioned to facilitate business/ college partnerships in virtually every business sector in New Jersey. One of CIANJ’s strengths as an organization is the diversity of businesses that make up our membership.

In a recent study by Hart Research Associates, 93 percent of employers surveyed indicated that they “prioritize critical thinking, communication, and complex problem-solving skills over a job candidate’s major field of study when making a hiring decision.” Clearly, New Jersey colleges and universities can take this into account in training our workforce of the future. These skills will remain important, but it is also vital that the curriculum in major fields of study remain dynamic, and continue to be aligned with the future demands of the careers in which they will be employed.

With higher education playing such a vital role in the lives of New Jersey’s citizens, and a significant amount of funding coming from the state, it should be no surprise that our elected officials get involved in higher education policy decisions. In July, CIANJ met with representatives from member colleges and universities at our Paramus office—we also have an office in Trenton— to discuss legislation dealing with higher education in New Jersey.

As a group, we discussed the impact of 19 bills that were introduced earlier this year dealing with tuition freezes, college readiness of incoming freshman and graduation rates. The decisions our legislators make regarding these issues can have a significant impact on our colleges and universities. While it may be tempting to take a one-size-fits-all approach to legislation that affects higher education, the diversity of our higher education system requires a more thoughtful strategy. Each college and university must be allowed to continue to pursue its unique mission, and to develop the curriculum and strategic alliances with businesses that works best for its specific needs.

The world economy is a catalyst for change, and those that invest in education—in lifelong learning—have the best opportunity to come out on the winning end. CIANJ is looking forward to connecting New Jersey colleges and universities with the business community. Together, we believe that we can build a path to prosperity that attracts capital, supports higher education and creates a well-trained workforce for the future. I would call that a win-win proposition.

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To view the complete July issue of COMMERCE Magazine, click here.

87th Annual Luncheon

Click here to view luncheon details and sponsors.



CIANJ’s 87th Annual Meeting & Luncheon will be a celebration of the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey’s more than eight decades as the voice of New Jersey’s business community. The luncheon is also a forum for business leaders to gain insights and share industry trends while making valuable contacts for the future. Governor Chris Christie has been invited to speak as well as Keynote speaker Jarl Frijs-Madsen, Ambassador, Consul General of Denmark in NY.

October 31st, 201411:30 am | Register Now

Business 2 Business Council

Through the Business to Business Council, CIANJ is seeking to provide opportunities for small business owners and entrepreneurs to gain the contacts, knowledge, and information necessary to grow their businesses profitably. The B2B Council events will connect them to opportunities across New Jersey’s diverse business landscape.

CEO Roundtable

The CEO Roundtable provides a forum for chief executive officers or business owners to seek advice and share experiences. Participants freely discuss issues they confront daily, such as compensations, financing, dealing with family members, relocations, sale of a business and many of the topics.

Environmental Business Council

Since its inception, the EBC’s mission has been to recognize the important economic role the environmental industry plays within the state, to demonstrate that environmental issues are also business issues, and to teach the business and regulatory communities that environmental responsibility and economic growth are fundamentally related

Financial Decision Makers Roundtable

CIANJ’s Financial Decision Makers Roundtable is intended for senior executives in key financial positions within their firms, as well as CIANJ members and invited guests. The purpose of this roundtable is to share critical information related to financial decision making and to allow attendees to develop professional relationships with each other. CPE credits are offered.

Generation Now: A Young Professionals Or

Generation Now is a group of young professionals in alliance with one another for the purpose of education, networking and peer-to-peer exchange leading to personal and professional growth.

Healthcare Roundtable

CIANJ’s Healthcare Roundtable is a forum for professionals who work within a spectrum of related disciplines to interact with one another by discussing critical issues that affect healthcare, as well as to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and develop relationships that enhance business

Human Resources Council

CIANJ’s Human Resource Roundtable is intended to advocate HR awareness by providing information and resources in various HR disciplines. It educates those responsible for HR in their organizations by sharing knowledge to solve common challenges. As an HRCI Approved Provider, attendees can earn continuing education credits toward PHR, SPHR, and GPHR

Legislative Roundtable

The mission of the Legislative Roundtable is to provide a forum where business executives can meet with state and federal lawmakers to discuss the latest issues affecting commerce.

Manufacturing Roundtable

The Manufacturing Roundtable is intended to be a forum for professionals who work in complimentary disciplines to discuss critical issues that affect manufacturing, facilitate the exchange of knowledge, and to develop relationships that enhance business

Real Property Roundtable

CIANJ’s Real Property Roundtable is intended to be a forum for professionals who work in complementary disciplines to discuss critical issues that affect real property, facilitate the exchange of knowledge, and to develop relationships that enhance business

Technology For Business Roundtable

The Technology For Business Roundtable is intended to be a forum for professionals who work in complementary disciplines to discuss critical issues that affect technology, facilitate the exchange of knowledge, and to develop relationships that enhance business.

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