Ex-Gov. Florio heralds Camden comeback
The city of Camden's rebirth is underway, says former Gov. Jim Florio in a new 44-page report.
Florio pins a lot of the city's resurgence on the expansion of the medical industry and institutions of higher education. But also investment by government.
"If anyone has been in Camden recently, they will notice the dramatic difference in the developments taking place," Florio said Tuesday. "Businesses are coming. American Water Company, which is a national company, has just announced that it is putting its headquarters in Camden, New Jersey. That is the national headquarters. The collaboration that is taking place is very, very impressive in the city."
The report, submitted to the Rowan University/Rutgers-Camden Board of Governors, details the expansion of two health care systems in the city. Three higher-learning institutions — Rutgers, Rowan and Camden County College — have campuses in Camden.
Like other urban centers in the state, the Camden County seat has struggled with poverty and crime. But that is changing.
"It started with public safety," he said. "Coordination between the county police department and the city police department has resulted in a noticeable improvement in public safety in this area, and that is very important."
The report calls for more and better training for residents to keep up with the city's emerging job opportunities in the medical and energy fields.
"We have to make sure that we have job-training so that residents in those communities are able to be qualified to take the jobs that are being created. Understanding that everything is connected to everything."