Business Gift: Recruiting Tool

Microsoft 2000:

For Kids to Achieve,

Reining in Trucks

Environmental

New Leads Source

Corporate Angels

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Melinda Sherwood, Teena Chandy, and Barbara Fox were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on June 9,

1999.

All rights reserved.

Virtual New Jersey: Also `Open’ for Business

When Prosperity New Jersey launched the Exits to Opportunity

television ad campaign, the handiwork of Princeton Partners ad agency

and some other Princeton area production talent, it mixed humor and

sentiment to patch the potholes in New Jersey’s reputation and provide

more visibility to businesses.

But with the launching of the online Business Resource Center (http://www.njbrc.com),

the business advocacy organization chose not to go down the same route.

Instead of using clever self-promotion, it opted to appeal to the

intellect of business people. The website is jam-packed with meaty

information on New Jersey demographics, economy and infrastructure

— data that will be invaluable to someone putting together a business

plan or considering relocating a business to the area. Best of all,

there’s little hype: you don’t have to trudge through ads, back out

of commercial sites or subscribe for a password.

Chuck Jones, director of business advocate and information at

the New Jersey Commerce and Economic Growth Commission, thinks that

going with the "straight facts" will pay off. "What businesses

need today is information, not a marketing tool," he says. "Other

states only accentuate the positive. We know that there are negatives

as well as positives." To avoid controversy, he adds, the data

was collected but not created by the state. Several of the links go

directly to U.S. government sites and other outside data sources.

The two agencies overseeing the creation of the site — Prosperity

New Jersey and the New Jersey Commerce and Economic Growth Commission

— hired the services of an outside consultant, Brad McDearman

of McDearman Associates in Baltimore, Maryland. The New Jersey Technology

Council handles the technical development of the site.

McDearman advised the agencies to forgo flashy images in order to

attract the no-nonsense business types. He also suggested the state

site remain open — visitors are not asked to register, subscribe

or use a password to get beyond the home page. Jones says this is

a big selling point; many state sites are monitored and require people

to jump through hoops to get the critical data. Business speculation

may be highly confidential, so the open site preserves privacy as

well.

The no-fuss site also means less work for an already stretched staff

at the Commerce and Economic Growth Commission. That was the reason

for creating the site in the first place, Jones says: "The problem

we had is that we could not respond to relocation consultants as fast

as other states could."

Whether you are putting together a business plan, considering a relocation,

conducting market research, or trying to E-mail a government official,

information in the following areas is only a mouse-click away:

Demographics (census reports, state and county).

Largest companies (by industry).

Largest research facilities.

Taxes and Insurance (also compared to nearby states).

Utilities (also compared to nearby states).

Transportation infrastructure (rail, port, air, road).

State incentive programs.

State financing programs.

Top Of Page
Business Gift: Recruiting Tool

Did you know that New Jersey was the home of organized

baseball, the first target in a Martian invasion of the planet, and

the first state to produce a glass bottle larger than an NBA player?

"New Jersey Firsts: The Famous, Infamous, and Quirky of the Garden

State" (Camino Books Inc., 1999) by Tom Wilk and Harry

Armstrong delves into the curious history behind everything from

New Jersey’s infamous traffic engineering — the cloverleaf —

to the out-of-the-ordinary athletes that arrive every year for the

National Marbles Tournament in Atlantic City. Not only are the anecdotes

fascinating, the book also makes a good recruiting tool. Among the

milestones captured here are the births of at least five different

hi-tech industries — a definite confidence-builder. Wilk will

be at Encore Books on Thursday, June 17, at 7:30 p.m. to answer questions

and sign copies.

Wilk is a copy editor at the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, a graduate

of Rider University, Class of 1980, with a BA in journalism, and a

lifelong Jersey resident. "I’ve been in journalism since ’74 so

some of these things — like the 10th anniversary of Cold War Summit

at Glassboro — I covered at the time," he says.

Writing the book, Wilk says, forced him to consider the significance

in being "the first" to do something. "I’m thinking about

it as a parent now — the first steps your children take, the first

teeth, your first full-time job. It’s just a way of remembering things

and marking milestones."

Each of New Jersey’s firsts are tightly written into micro-chapters:

Most Complete Dinosaur Skeleton, First Transcontinental Highway, First

Rock `n’ Roll Star, Vice President to Kill in a Duel, and so on.

New Jerseyans may take their history for granted, but recent transfers

and business travelers may be surprised and impressed by the illustration

of the state’s genius and innovation. "New Jersey has such a large

population coming into the state — people transferred from jobs

in Philadelphia or New York — that it’s a good way to learn about

the heritage," Wilk says. Among the confidence-building milestones:

The Birth of Teflon, Bell Labs: Touch Tone Dialing and More, the New

Jersey Knee, the Bar Code, and, of course, the Band-Aid.

— Melinda Sherwood

Top Of Page
Microsoft 2000:

Internet Friendly

Microsoft released the latest version of its office

productivity suite — Office 2000 — this week, so you may have

heard about some of software’s newest features. If not, you can speak

to Microsoft spokesperson Bret Davis at the Princeton PC Users

Group meeting on Monday, June 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the Lawrenceville

library. He will be answering questions about the release. Call 908-281-3107.

Free.

Microsoft announced several of the software’s new tools and enhancements

before the release:

Simplified conversion of Office documents to HTML (hypertext

markup language) file format for immediate Internet posting.

Better integration of Word with Microsoft Outlook, the

E-mail and information management program.

Easier-to-find files in the Open and Save boxes.

A "history" folder that lists the last 75 documents.

The option to save routine work to HTML files is the definitive

upgrade in Office. Saving files in the HTML format was previously

possible, but attributes of text produced in programs like Word or

Excel — bold, colors, underline, or tables, for example —

were lost in the conversion. That’s no longer the case.

Office documents are now "ready-to-wear" for a browser, so

you don’t have to go through the lengthy process of working in an

HTML editing program. Changes to the document can even be made from

within the browser.

The implications: the democratization (even more) of the Internet.

People in business can also post important documents or spreadsheets

to the corporate Intranet or Extranet instantaneously.

Top Of Page
For Kids to Achieve,

Pre-School Counts

Children from low income families who received quality

pre-school education go on to be better achievers in school and are

less likely to be on welfare. This has been proven by studies on the

impact of pre-school education on children, says Ellen Frede,

associate professor at the College of New Jersey.

Frede will be talking to a group of scientists about the influence

of quality research in her presentation, "Research in Forming

Public Policy in Early Childhood Education" at the meeting of

the Association for Women in Science on Thursday, June 10 at 5:45

p.m. at Forcina Hall 100, College of New Jersey. Call 732-274-4607.

Frede majored in early childhood education from the University of

Michigan in 1976, and has a Ph.D in developmental psychology from

Utah State University. "Studies conducted by neurologists and

neuro-scientists on how the brain develops has shown that there is

a great deal of important structural change happening in the brain

early on," says Frede. "Children not getting the stimulation

that pre-school education provides are deprived of its benefits."

Scientific research is important because many public policies come

out of such studies, says Frede. "The Supreme Court, based on

these research findings, ruled that all three to four-year-old children

in 30 special needs districts in New Jersey need and should be provided

with high quality, intensive, pre-school education," says Frede.

The court made this decision because the present public policies on

early childhood education in New Jersey are lacking, says Frede. "The

Department of Education has been saying that the present childcare

projects are good enough, that any of the licensed child care centers

meet the court’s requirements. If the existing childcare centers in

New Jersey were good enough, the Supreme Court would not have said

that."

Frede hopes that the Department of Education will comply with the

Supreme Court ruling. "Research has also proven that there is

a lower incidence of childhood pregnancy among children from lower

income families who received pre-school education," says Frede.

"They are more likely to have jobs and be taxpayers themselves."

— Teena Chandy

Top Of Page
Reining in Trucks

Unless enough trucking companies strongly object, Route

518 will be closed as a through-route for wide trucks. The New Jersey

Department of Transportation will take comments on a restrictive proposal

until Wednesday, June 16, and the proposal — an amendment to the

administrative code — is scheduled to be adopted on August 16.

Submit comments to Renee Rapciewicz, deputy administrative practice

officer, Department of Transportation, Bureau of Legislative Analysis,

Box 600, Trenton 08625. Or fax to 609-530-3841.

Also, a statewide workshop on all the proposed rules for trucks will

be Monday, June 14, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the municipal building at

1001 Parsippany Boulevard in Parsippany. Call 609-530-2124.

The restriction would begin at the point where Route 518 leaves Lambertville,

where the road is steep and winding. Much of the shoulder along the

route is "substandard or nonexistent," municipal officials

are claiming. It would end 20 miles later where 518 joins Route 27.

Because Province Line Road is closed, the only crossroads to 518 are

at Route 601, 206, 31, and Laurel Avenue (the new road built by Trap

Rock Industries between 518 and Route 27).

The ordinance would not affect the dump truck-sized vehicles used

by Trap Rock Industries, nor would it affect trucks used by area businesses.

The prohibited trucks are 102 inches wide or wider and are most likely

going to be 18-wheelers. The prohibition would also extend to trucks

with 53-foot long trailers. These trucks would be able to use Route

518 only to travel a two-mile stretch for a pick-up, delivery, or

access facilities for food, fuel, repairs, or rest.

About 250 trucks use Route 518 daily, says John Dourgarian,

spokesperson for the DOT, and 10 percent of those, or about 25 trucks

would be affected. But Hopewell Township’s director of public safety,

Jon Edwards, thinks it will have an even greater impact. "DOT

uses a bizarre definition for local truck traffic," says Edwards,

who is also Princeton University’s assistant vice president for computing

and information technology. "A truck that starts in Hoboken and

ends in Philadelphia is defined as a local delivery."

The ruling would prohibit trucks from using 518 as a way to the Pennsylvania

Turnpike. Now, if they are trying to avoid traffic on Route 1, they

can take Route 518 from Franklin Township to Lambertville and go south

on Route 29 to I-95. Or they can turn off 518 via 654 and 31 to get

to Route 202 and the turnpike.

Three counties and all the affected municipalities support the DOT’s

move. Fines could be as much as several hundred dollars, says Dourgarian.

Where will all these interstate trucks go? "That’s for them to

decide," says Dourgarian. "They can’t use 518."

Top Of Page
Environmental

Responsibility

Don’t try to sell a house with a leaking oil tank, and

don’t try to sell a business with any kind of environmental liability

— unless you have very good advice. In this era of rapid mergers

(the United States tally of merged companies went from $906.5 billion

for 1997 to $1.62 trillion in 1998), such advice is particularly important.

"Too many companies have found that just closing a merger deal

does not guarantee success," says James Vetter, a principal

at Environmental Resources Management Inc. at 300 Phillips Boulevard

(609-895-0050). "A recent study showed that nearly 60 percent

of the mergers failed to meet expectations and resulted in lower-than-average

returns for shareholders."

Vetter is leading ERM’s new Global Merger & Acquisition Advisory Services

practice, announced in April.

ERM’s 30-person Princeton office was previously located at 100 Canal

Pointe Boulevard and should not be confused with Environmental Liability

Management at Research Park. ERM is a global environmental, health

and safety consulting, and management services firm. It has 2,400

employees at more than 120 locations in 34 countries, and it works

in such areas as air quality management, pollution control, community

planning, and sustainable development (http://www.erm.com.)

Vetter majored in geology at Moravian College (Class of 1984) and

has a master’s degree in that subject from Lehigh and an MGA from

St. Joseph’s. With more than 12 years of environmental consulting

experience, he joined ERM last year as senior project manager in the

site remediation practice and is now the program director for mergers,

acquisitions, and divestitures.

Vetter says the solution for a successful merger is to plan for the

right information to be collected and assessed from the very beginning.

"Successful transactions," he says, "use a combination

of `best practices’ that go far beyond traditional environmental due

diligence requirements."

In the first area, pre-planning, consider these areas:

Understand internal and external stakeholder needs;

Ensure compatibility between environmental health and safety

and business goals;

Schedule training and awareness sessions for workers;

Study policy and regulatory issues;

Design a transaction management system; and

Design a risk management plan.

The second step in the four-step chain of "best practices"

is assessing the M&A transaction. Will there be a business interruption?

What are details on health and safety risks? What is the downside,

the possible catastrophic risk? Will there be social problems, and

how long might they last? Steps three and four in the chain are post-acquisition

integration (including such topics as change management and asset

divestiture) and on-going operations (operating efficiently and managing

risk).

"Environmental matters can have a material effect on future earnings

performance and business operations if not properly assessed and accounted

for during the deal," says Vetter.

Top Of Page
New Leads Source

If you are an attorney, accountant, or travel agent,

and you are looking for leads and networking opportunities, a 15-year-old

networking group may have an opening for you. The Princeton Council

meets at the Hyatt to exchange leads, contacts, and referrals. In

addition to the three categories mentioned, it has membership opportunities

for an advertising agency, a computer services firm, and a heating/air

conditioning company. The meeting on Thursday, June 17, at 8 a.m.

is free by reservation. Call Terri Rabinowicz, the facilitator,

at 732-615-9096; fax, 732-615-9620.

Top Of Page
Corporate Angels

<B>Lucy’s Ravioli Kitchen on Route 206 will sponsor

the "carbo-load" dinner on Friday, June 11, from 6 to 9 to

benefit the Princeton Hospital Fete and feed the runners who will

race the next morning in the Fete’s annual 10K race. The dinner will

be held at Engine Company No. 1, the fire house on Chestnut Street

in Princeton Borough. Cost is $10 for adults; $5 for children under

10. Call 609-924-3623.

The race is also sponsored by Momentum Fitness, located at Research

Park.

The New Jersey World Trade Council awarded Mercer County

Community College a $2,000 grant to enable the college to purchase

software for its International Business Practice Firm (IBPF) for electronic

banking transactions. Students conduct all operations — financing,

purchasing, marketing, and human resources — by using internally

networked computers, video conferencing, and the Internet. "We

believe that IBPFs are a great way for students to learn about business,"

says Axel Velden, chair of the council’s education committee.

Western Pest Services, presented a $1,000 "Take Care

of It" community grant award to Princeton Friends School to help

defray the costs of administering the many community service projects

the school is involved in. Once a month, for two hours, students in

grades kindergarten through eighth perform community outreach tasks,

such as reading to children at the Carnegie Family Center, assisting

with the Princeton area Meals on Wheels program, and helping out at

the Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic.


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