Trenton will attract employers to its industrial areas that generate comparatively high rates of job opportunities
Industry is key component of Trenton’s economy and a significant economic development opportunity. A lack of industrial growth and development is another significant issue for Trenton, despite the city’s history as an industrial powerhouse, its relatively strong industrial workforce, and economic development trends pointing toward a resurgence of manufacturing. Trenton’s struggles to stimulate industry are the result of a variety of overlapping issues:
- While the city has an abundance of abandoned industrial properties, many lack the physical characteristics demanded by modern industry. Most industrial businesses (particularly light industry) require large floorplates to accommodate their desired production plan. Parcels with characteristics sought by prospective industrial companies (specifically, parcels larger than 60,000 SF with adequate parking and good highway access) are difficult to find in Trenton.
- Trenton has limited large, undeveloped, and "shovel-ready" sites available for industrial development. Sites that are vacant are often fragmented and owned by multiple entities, while properties that are available have not been well-marketed.
- There is also a disconnect between Trenton's industrial workforce skills and business needs. Better matching the two for both existing and future businesses will require partnerships among the public, private, and non-profit sectors.
- Finally, stakeholders have identified Trenton’s relatively inexpensive energy resources and water capacity as an asset. But those assets have not been effectively marketed as a means for attracting industrial businesses.
According to stakeholder interviews, in the past ten years manufacturing in Trenton has contracted due to the recession and sequestration. However, these same industries are now exploring ways to expand and are hiring new workers. As such, the time is ripe to support manufacturing expansion in Trenton.