OC Government Makes Job Creation Priority No. 1
The economic impact of Superstorm Sandy continues to take its toll on Ocean County's economy. So the New Freeholder Director announces there will be a major focus on business development and career training this year.
During his address at a crowded County Reorganization meeting Monday, Freeholder Director Joe Vicari announced that the Tourism Department will be changing into the Business Development and Tourism Department, assisting homeowners and making job creation priority number one.
"We have to encourage people to spend money in Ocean County. We have to encourage people to say 'you know something? I'm going to go reopen my business' .... Vicari continued, "but Ocean County, trust me, will not be a place of high unemployment."
The county's award-winning vocational training schools will play a major role in helping the unemployed, according to Vicari. "From those who want to become a plumber, carpenter or electrician, to those who want to go into the theater, if you want to work in Ocean County, if you want to apply yourself, if you want to improve your skills, you will get a job," he explained.
Freeholder John Bartlett, Jr. was sworn in as the Freeholder Deputy Director and became the longest serving Freeholder in the State of New Jersey. Bartlett also announced another milestone. He said this year marks 40 years that he's continually served in public office.
There were also some lighthearted moments as well, with Ocean County Clerk Scott Collabella taking some chiding about the length of his speech during his swearing in ceremony with Sheriff Mike Mastronardy on January 1st. Elected officials also made fun of County Republican Chairman George Gilmore's frugal allocation of campaign funds.
The Board of Chosen Freeholders also received praise from 4th District Republican Congressman Chris Smith for not borrowing money to help communities with post-Sandy cleanup and repair projects. "Everyone else, the first words out of people's mouths in Washington anytime a crises hits is borrow and write blank checks. That is such a credit to this Freeholder Board. You put the taxpayer first, without any kind of lessening of the service. That is an extraordinary tribute to your leadership," explained Smith.