Unionwear is featured in The City of Newark, NJ’s new promotional video,
Recognize Newark, for our contributions in bringing together and raising the profile of the city’s manufacturers. 3:50 in.
Newark, NJ has 400 factories with over 12,000 employees
Who knew? Most of us are working out of unmarked concrete buildings, contract manufacturing for national brands.
A group of small business owners and city analysts, meeting monthly as a “Small Business Job Creation Policy Board”, determined that bringing our factories out of the shadows and promoting them to other manufacturers, to other sectors of the economy, and to the region at large would help to bring business to the city and result in hiring.
Manufacturers are more likely to hire Newark residents than other sectors, and manufacturing is more labor intensive than other sectors, so highlighting Newark’s thriving factories and infrastructure seemed to be the easiest way to have a positive impact on job creation.
We developed the Made in Newark Campaign as a comprehensive, low cost strategy to bombard the masses with the message that manufacturing lives in Newark.
We kicked off the “Made in Newark” campaign when the NCAA men’s basketball tournament came to Newark
The local organizing committee designated local manufacturers as preferred suppliers for any merchandise used in the tournament: giveaways, uniforms, printed materials, and merchandise sold at the Fanfest.
The city also gave away gift bigs filled with dozens of Newark-made products to hundreds of journalists and corporate VIPs and reinforce the message that manufacturing lives in Newark, and funded a PR campaign that resulted in over 1000 links for Made in Newark on a google news search at one point. The campaign put up billboards, passed out literature, and affixed hang tags promoting “Made in Newark” to tens of thousands of Newark Made products.
One goal we had was to change perceptions of Newark. We wanted to make people see that the brick buildings and smokestacks they see when they drive from Newark Airport to NYC do not represent urban decay, but are actually filled with factories and jobs.
Through the gift bags, we demonstrated that anything and everything can be made in Newark so people would know that Newark’s location must be perfect for manufacturing.
Through the hang tags we educated the public about Newark’s long history in manufacturing so people would know that the factories that thrive here must be highly evolved.
By showing that we had the Booker administrations full support, we demonstrated that manufacturing drives Newark’s economy, so businesses would know that buying locally made products will create value in their community.
If people conclude that Newark is the region’s manufacturing hub, they will look in Newark first when they need a manufacturer or want to locate a manufacturing facility. We did everything we could to demonstrate that Newark manufacturers work together, so future clients would know that when they are looking for manufacturing in Newark they will be guided exactly where they need to go. Newark manufacturers benefited just by by being engaged in the process and from the city’s image makeover—the individual programs at the tournament were tiny compared to the ultimate rewards.
Made In Newark -sponsored breakfasts, roundtables and plant tours have attracted attendees from more than 75 manufacturing companies.
Made In Newark’s efforts to highlight the importance of manufacturers encouraged the City to collaborate with the Brookings Institute on a major project to create a well-informed strategic plan for the strengthening of Newark’s manufacturing sector.
Participating manufacturers regularly refer clients to one another and have exchanged information on tax credits, department of labor grants, expense reduction and human resource strategies, and vendor recommendations.