Somerset County Business Partnership announces Economic Vitality Award Recipients For 2014

Awards to be Presented at Annual Meeting – the Largest Gathering of the Somerset County’s Business Community. Reservations Available for Monday, December 15, 2014

BRIDGEWATER, NJ (October 9, 2014) — The Somerset County Business Partnership has announced the recipients of the 2014 Economic Vitality Awards.

Recipients in the private sector category have made a positive impact on the quality of life and economic vitality in Somerset County in areas including job creation and retention, job training and retraining, sales growth, profitability and reinvestment, increased assets, and influx of new dollars from outside the area. Non-profit recipients have demonstrated a record of significant impact on the quality of life of the targeted constituency and the County in the areas of growth of constituency served, innovative programming, and contribution of volunteer base. 2014 Recipients include:

Affinity Federal Credit Union, Basking Ridge, New Jersey
Affinity Federal Credit Union is a non-profit organization and with 15 branches and more than 133,000 members from in excess of 4,800 businesses is the largest credit union headquartered in the state. With total assets exceeding of $2.3 billion, Affinity serves Somerset County with five branches providing $50.3 million in commercial loans and $3.9 million in other loans. Affinity employs 400 people, 285 of whom work in Somerset County. In 2013, Affinity had over 50 new hires. The AFCU Foundation sponsors three scholarships, provided financial education, and supports numerous Somerset County charities and non-profits.

Costco, North Plainfield, New Jersey
The recently opened Costco North Plainfield store created 250 construction jobs and 150 to 200 permanent jobs, many of which are support by company job training programs. The Bridgewater facility employs 230 people with an additional 50 seasonal hires. The new facility uses innovation in site development including lighting energy management systems, energy efficient lighting design, and energy efficient transformers. Costco regularly supports the Children’s Miracle Network, Children’s Specialized Hospital. Stuff the Backpack programs, and donates food to panties and soup kitchens on a daily basis.

Middle Earth, Bridgewater, New Jersey
The Middle Earth mission is to provide individuals, primarily youth, with prevention, intervention, and crisis services to help them to develop into responsible and productive members of the community. Staff provides employment readiness training, soft-skills training, and places youth in paid internships. Participants are provided the opportunity to earn a Work Credential following 30 hours of employment and are taught business ownership responsibilities.

Middle Earth also provides employments opportunities for high schoolers with in the 21st CCLC after school program.

Northeast Power Dry, Inc., Bridgewater, New Jersey
Northeast Power Dry is a professional water removal and drying service that has been in operation since 2007. The company currently operates out of a 22,000 sq. ft. complex with 28 full time and 10 part-time employees supported by a fleet of 21 vehicles and trailers. In 2013 NPD serviced 1,100 businesses and residences. Annual revenue is expected to reach $4 million in 2014.

Special Recognition – NJ American Water
New Jersey American Water is being recognized for the company’s efforts to improve service and delivery though major infrastructure improvements. The Raritan Millstone Water Plant is capable of providing 156 million gallons of water per day. Numerous flood events have affected operations resulting in a $32 million flood protection effort that will add an additional 4 feet to provide protection for up to a 500-year storm. The Distribution System Improvement Charge will enable the utility to recover the cost of aging infrastructure projects and improve service.

The Economic Vitality Awards will be presented at the Somerset County Business Partnership Annual Meeting on Monday, December 15, 2014 at the Palace at Somerset Park, 333 Davidson Avenue in Somerset, New Jersey. The day’s activities will begin with a networking reception at 11:30 A.M. followed by the luncheon at 12:15 P.M.

The Annual Meeting presents business people with the most effective networking opportunity of the year with over 400 guests from the public and private sectors attending. The luncheon will include a presentation of the economic and sustainability goals and objectives set for Somerset County businesses in 2014 and recognition of the 2014 Economic Vitality recipients and awarding of a Special Recognition Award.

A review of the Business Partnership’s accomplishments of the past year and setting the agenda for a prosperous and sustainable 2015 for the Somerset County business community will be followed by presentation of the 2014 Economic Vitality Awards.

“The Annual Meeting is the most important gathering of the year in Somerset County. It transcends the business community, representing to the general public the hard work and innovation that has contributed to making Somerset County the great place to live, work, and recreate,” commented Business Partnership CEO Mike Kerwin.

Registration is $75 for Business Partnership members and $115 for non-members if purchased by Wednesday, December 10, 2014 and $90 for members and $140 for non-members thereafter. Reservations may be made by calling the Somerset County Business Partnership at 908-218-4300 or online at.

Major sponsorship for the Annual Meeting is provided by PNC Wealth Management, Somerset Savings Bank, NJ Advance Media, Wells Fargo Northern NJ and South Jersey Energy Solutions

The Somerset County Business Partnership serves as central New Jersey’s regional Chamber of Commerce. Members and investors represent public, private and community organizations, working in partnership and dedicated to maintaining and promoting economic prosperity and quality of life in Somerset County. The Somerset County Business Partnership is an essential partner for doing business in Somerset County, and as such is the premier regional business organization in New Jersey. The Business Partnership seeks to achieve four key outcomes; public leadership, advocacy, economic and community development, and value/engagement, providing LEADERSHIP, OPPORTUNITY, AND RESULTS to the Somerset County Business Community.

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