|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
|Regional Innovation Program||1||$439,190|
Cumberland County, NJ - Cumberland County has a strong connection to the food processing and manufacturing industry. Located in the county are some of the most prominent businesses in these industries including Safeway Food Group, Inc., Perdue Foods, Clement Pappas, Buono Vita, LaMonica Fine Foods, Bridor USA, and Cumberland Dairy. According to the New Jersey Department of Labor, Cumberland County had 7,691 persons employed in manufacturing, making its percentage share of total county employment one of the highest in the State. Rutgers University recognized these strengths in 2001 when it established its Food Innovation Center (FIC) in the EDA funded Florida Avenue Industrial park in Bridgeton, NJ. Over the course of the past 15 years, FIC has provided a wide array of services to over 1,500 clients and supported the success of about 100 graduates that have outgrown the facility or required too much physical space from the outset. This is a testimony to the increasing interest and expanding market concentration of food industries and businesses in the region.
In October 2017, EDA invested $2,500,000 in Public Works funds to Cumberland County Improvement Authority to support the construction of a new 30,973 square foot Food Industry Commercialization Center to provide flex-spaces for new food production companies in the county that have outgrown space at the nearby Rutgers Food Innovation Center. The Food Industry Commercialization Center will enable the county, the South Jersey Region and the State as a whole to expand market share and compete more effectively in global markets. This expansion is evidence of a strong and vibrant food industry and one that can compete domestically and internationally. By addressing these investment priorities and others, the Cumberland County Food Industry Commercialization Center is poised to establish itself as a worthy and creative investment that will promote job development, industry expansion, and collaborative innovation in Bridgeton, the County and throughout the region.
The applicant expects that the new facility will create 109 new jobs and bring $1,500,000 in private investment to the region. The proposed center represents a model of collaborative regional innovation given the partnerships between the County Improvement Authority, Rutgers University, the Cumberland Empowerment Zone Corporation, and the City of Bridgeton which are all contributing to the success of this proposal.