“HELPING OUR FAMILIES AND ASSISTING WOMEN” INITIATIVES:”
• Establish the Union County Mayor’s Emergency Management group, which was formed during Hurricane Sandy, as a permanent platform for communication. During its last meeting, the group discussed a wide range of recommendations to explore in several critical areas that can be implemented in 2013 to improve emergency response.
• Conduct a Countywide gun buyback program through County Police. While a gun buyback may not be a cure-all, Carter noted that’s as “leaders, we owe it to our residents to pursue all the strategies available at our disposal.” This includes supporting Assemblyman Cryan’s statewide legislation to limit the capacity of certain gun magazines in New Jersey.
• Jobs training and business assistance. Implement “Union County Choices,” a targeted jobs training program involving Union County College. Union County Choices is designed to provide a range of services targeted to middle skills and sector training. This program will give residents Choices focused on Union County’s priority economic development sectors. Courses would be in the priority fields of Healthcare/Allied Health, Transportations and logistics, and Retail/Hospitality. In the first instance, the County has worked with Union County College and the Community College Consortium to design four courses and two programs that should launch by February. The County is also developing an additional set of foundational courses covering basic—but valuable—elements related to health and safety.
• Continue the very successful “Union County Means Business” program by hosting an additional four forums. One of these forums will focus on the specific needs of women in business. The others will soon be determined through a survey which is currently underway. We also plan to host two industry specific roundtable discussions with assistance from New Jersey Talent Networks. These will be invitation only sessions with key business leaders in selected industries.
• Meet with municipal Library Directors to develop business friendly endeavors such as seminars for small businesses, and raise awareness about existing services for small business.
• Finally, the County will encourage businesses to go green to save green. This year, our Bureau of Recycling and Planning has received a grant that will enable it to conduct outreach to businesses on the benefits of recycling. The planned outreach will address not only what and how to recycle, but how recycling can actually save money.
• Several green initiatives: First, the County, through the Union County Improvement Authority, will explore a Community Energy Aggregation program designed to leverage the purchasing power of residents, business and governments to purchase low-cost electricity. If the program is implemented, Union County residents, businesses and governments could save as much as 15 percent on the electrical bills.
• Next, the County will take the lead in undertaking the development and implementation of a local government Energy Efficiency assistance program under the Energy Savings Improvement Program Law known as ESIP. The ESIP Law is an extremely valuable tool that allows local governments and boards of education to reduce energy consumption through the installation of energy efficient boilers, lights and HVAC equipment. It allows for financing these upgrades with the resulting operating budget savings generated by the newly installed equipment.
• In an attempt to raise awareness countywide, we will double-purpose the Public Information Van as the Union County Green Information Van. We will design a series of small cardstock flyers that link all of the sustainability-related programs in our departments and affiliates under one visual umbrella. At least one of those flyers will be designed as a shared service that our municipalities, businesses and other entities can use as a promotional tool in support of their green projects. The van will also receive one of the County’s first informational touch screen kiosks.
• Pursue a partnership with a local Domestic Violence Shelter for battered women, our County College and Vo-Tech to provide training programs enabling these women to enter or re-enter the workforce and become self-sustaining and independent.