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Made in NJ’ event celebrates Garden State manufacturing

“Today, we gather to acknowledge the remarkable achievements of our local manufacturers – the dedicated men and women who craft products that impact our daily lives,” New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP) Chief Executive Officer Peter Connolly said as opening his remarks during the 11th annual “Made in NJ” Manufacturing Day Oct. 6 at iPlay America in Freehold. “From cutting edge technology to traditional craftsmanship, we have it all right here in our backyard.”

The annual event, which drew approximately 1,000 attendees, brings together industry professionals, legislators and exhibitors to shine a light on manufacturing here in the great Garden State. The day featured speeches, panels and breakout sessions with industry leaders and stakeholders, as well as awards, networking opportunities, an exhibitor hall, displays of Made in NJ goods and products, the fan-favorite robotics demonstrations, and much more.

“This day represents a celebration of our thriving manufacturing industry – a testament to innovation, hard work, and a collaborative spirit that defines manufacturing,” said Connolly. “Manufacturing, both on a local and global scale, holds a significant place in the heart of our economy and society.”

“I love to be able to tell the story of the great things that are made and curated here in the State of New Jersey,” said Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), during her remarks. “And I think for too long, you have been an underappreciated asset. And it is up to all of us to make sure that we continue to amplify and elevate what you do – not just at the state level, but at the federal level. This is a critical time not just in New Jersey – but in this country for manufacturing. All eyes are back on manufacturing, for good reason and good purpose.”

The award winners included:

  • Manufacturer of the Year (Small) – L-E-M Plastics & Supply Inc., Fairfield
  • Manufacturer of the Year (Medium) – Bestwork Industries for the Blind Inc., Cherry Hill
  • Manufacturer of the Year (Large) – Nipro Pharmapackaging Americas Corp., Millville
  • Innovator of the Year – Case Medical Inc., Bloomfield
  • Rising Star Award – Micaela Alvarez, engineer and operational director, Universal Nutrition Inc.

NJMEP also recognized six individuals as new inductees to the Made in NJ Honor Roll for their contributions to the manufacturing sector. Those honorees include:

  • Pravina Raghavan, director, Hollings Manufacturing Extension Program
  • Christina Renna, president and CEO, Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey
  • State Sen. Mike Testa, R-1st District
  • Anthony Iacono, president, County College of Morris
  • Aaron Fichtner, president, New Jersey Council of County Colleges
  • Steven Gerber, NJMEP secretary emeritus
  • Robert Loderstat, CEO emeritus, NJMEP


“Today is a day to honor the past, enhance the present, and look ahead to the future, where manufacturing remains an integral part of our vibrant New Jersey community,” Connolly added.

You can check out pictures from the event here; look out for an expanded feature on the Made in NJ event in next week’s issue of NJBIZ.

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For all CCSNJ media inquiries, please contact:

Meredith K. Lorrilliere

Executive Vice President, CCSNJ

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