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Tom Sullivan

August 1, 2017
Tom Sullivan

One year ago, I wrote a Insight Tuesday article: “Trenton: A Proud Past, A Brighter Future” challenging the skepticism of a Trenton Times headline and providing five reasons to believe in New Jersey’s capital city. Now, a year later, I am doubling down on historic Trenton’s bright future.


In the last few weeks, two economic development forums, one by the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce and one by the Mid-Jersey Chamber of Commerce, laid out five fundamental pillars of a healthy, growing city that are helping to reinvigorate Trenton:


  1. Housing and Vibrant Neighborhoods – One of Central Jersey’s greatest needs is affordable and market rate housing to attract and retain young people entering the workforce. Last week, families began moving into Roebling Lofts, the first of many exciting and transformative developments that are planned or under construction.


  1. Health – Ten years ago, the Trenton Health Team was formed to address quality access to healthcare for the city’s residents in response to the closing of one of Trenton’s three hospitals. Today, this coalition is a national model for a holistic approach to improving the wellness and healthcare of underserved populations who typically have limited access to primary care, quality fresh foods, safe neighborhoods and the recreational spaces and opportunities to be physically active.


  1. Safety – New investments in security technology and new strategies to optimize and coordinate Transit, State, County and Trenton police forces are reducing crime and will bring new stability to neighborhoods. Organizations are also coming together in a crime prevention strategy around supporting life skills development, job training and outreach that will directly benefit Trenton’s youth.


  1. Workforce and Business Development – Mercer County Community College (MCCC), a vibrant institution of over 11,000 students, has been investing in its Trenton Campus with a workforce development strategy led by visionary president, Dr. Jianping Wang. Following the lead of Thomas Edison State University’s growth and investment in Trenton, MCCC, along with others like Arm In Arm, a non-profit, are providing educational and skills development opportunities for people in all stages of life and circumstance. New jobs are being created by The Hibbert Group, a marketing technology company with global reach. Maestro Technologies, a technology consulting and data management systems firm is relocating to the Corner Historic Building in the downtown district. These join a growing manufacturing sector that includes firms like Tektite and Power Magnetics. The Greater Trenton Initiative, led by George Sowa and backed by major corporate support, has completed and will soon announce its strategic plan to attract developers and businesses to Trenton.
  1. The Arts – Tom Gilmore, the new executive director of the Trenton Downtown Association, is multiplying the existing energy around Trenton’s burgeoning arts, cultural and entertainment district. Tom’s playbook is based on the amazing renaissance of Asbury Park, in which he played a leading role.


All the pieces are coming together to reinvigorate Trenton. Now it’s time to get the word out to the world at large.