Recovering Economy and Business in Camden, New Jersey
What Is Happening in Camden, the Final Home of Walt Whitman?
Several economic and business organizations found that Camden NJ placed as the poorest town in the United States in 2012, having the lowest annual average household income and the greatest number of individuals below the US Federal Poverty Line. By 2014 - 2015, this was not longer true.
This is all interesting, becuase Camden is adjacent to Philadelphia and near to Bridgeport CT, which is the Third Richest Metro Area of the USA.
The county seat of Camden County NJ, Camden is interesting to examine as one of Governor Chris Chritie's issues to address. What is happening in Camden and what can businesses ans government do to help?
Historic Attraction: Walt Whitman House
Near the Waterfront on the Delaware River in Camden, poet Walt Whitman's last home stands at the address listed below and is a US National Historic Landmark. A Visitor's Center serves the house to the right in the photo above.
The poet's original letters, possessions, deathbed, and the death notice nailed to his front door are all there in display in his last house. Visitors can also see rare 19th century photographs, including daguerreotypes.
Plans for rebuilding Camden out of its poverty in which 50% of its children live below the US Federal Poverty Line will make a better surrounding for Whitman's final home.
Walt Whitman House in Camden
328 Mickle Boulevard
Camden, New Jersey 08103
New Jersey Taxes
On February 26, 2013 in an announcement of the last budget of his gubernatorial term, Governor Chris Christy announced $2.3 billion in tax incentive breaks to businesses in his state.
As in many states, these tax incentives are used to encourage current businesses to expand and hire more employees, but also to draw new businesses into the state. Businesses want to operate in states and counties in which they can make the largest profits, and taxes cut into the bottom line more than some other costs.
At the same time, Campbells, the famous soup company, accepted a large amount in tax cuts in 2011 and then proceeded to lay off many workers.his was not a popular move.
Tax incentives are presented to corporations in order to allow them to hire more workers, not to lay off current workers. However, more than one company across the nation has laid off workers in the wake of increased tax savings or increased profits. This seems counterproductive and can lead to poor cities like Camden.
Plans for Improvement via McDonald's
The Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center
Joan Kroc left much of the Kroc Fortune that was made through McDonald's hamburgers and real estate deals to the public good, including National Public Radio. Another gift was made to build this community center in Camden.
The Kroc Center of the Salvation Army, when complete, will have a 120,000-square foot facility on 24 acres within a former landfill in Cramer Hill. It will maintain programs to improve the Camden area in economics, education, health, recreation, and spiritual needs.
Meant for families and individuals, the Kroc Center can impact hundreds of people for good. Campbell (soup) company made a half-million dollar contribution to the community kitchen, the first operating section, in order to help supply food to children that do not have enough to eat.
The gigantic Kroc Center in Dayton, Ohio helped take that city from one of the poorest in America to one of the most successful, helping families as the Aerospace Industry grew to provide jobs around them. It is located in Dayton, just west of Wright Patterson Air Force Base and the National Air Force Museum. The Kroc Center benefits from volunteer services donated by those agencies. Kroc Centers are located in an additional half dozen cities in the Eastern USA and several in the West, including Hawaii.
Dayton was once a Worst Place to Find Work in the USA. It came off the list in the late 2000s with numerous improvements and aerospace-related jobs.
Improvement Zones In Camden
As with most US Empowerment Zones, Camden's concentrates on buidling new housing to replace abandoned and condemed buildings. Following that, the organization works to increase culture and the arts in the area, usually a Downtown region of a city that needs development. New businesses, along with Job Creation and Human Services are high priorities as well.
Urban Enterprise Zone
The Camden UEZ was mapped in 1984 and to 1st QTR 2013, 150 businesses have registered in the associated program to gain its tax incentives and other help. While this number averages only 5 businesses yearly, it has created 339 new jobs and an investment of $584,504.00 in private money. By comparison, Campbell's reports that it donates $1 million annually to local charities.
Improvements in Progress
- Can you hear me now? Camden County's $35M police, fire radio project set to go live | NJ.com
Camden County is ready to fire up its $35 million public safety radio conversion project, and Gloucester and Cumberland counties could be watching closely as the two counties consider similar multi-million dollar projects.
- Heart of Gloucester County celebrates first year of success stories | NJ.com
The Heart of Gloucester County is not a charity as much as it is a series of resources. The county will help Camden County establish programs for housing, jobs, and health.
- Brian Williams of NBC News announced in a segment highlighting Camden in early March 2013 that Police Chief Thompson was happy to know that Camden Police Department would be joined to the Camden County Police, offering an additional 200 police officers to help patrol the city. In a patrol ride through the worst parts of town, Williams watched as the Chief talked a young man out of purchasing heroin outside a drug house. Chief Thompson believes there is hope for Camden and a handful of residents interviewed feel the same way in early 2013.
Major Attractions that Increase Tourism
- Camden Waterfront - Includes the Adventure Aquarium with several areas filling its 200,000 square feet and a 4D Theater with extra action. Be sure to visit the Jules Verne Deep Sea area. The Walt Whitman Home is located within two blocks of the Waterfront. Fountain Park is also nearby, with plenty of seating. New exhibit at Camden's Adventure Aquarium showcases 20 kinds of turtles:
Popular images of turtles, whether they're as gallant as the crime-fighting "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" or as kind and engaging as Crush in "Finding Nemo," make them ideal ambassadors for the marine world.
- Camden County Historical Society
- Camden Children's Garden
- Camden River Sharks Baseball
- Cherry Hill Mall
- Battleship New Jersey Naval Museum & Veteran's Memorial. Also see http://www.camdenshipmuseum.org/
- Petty's Island: Pirate hideaway and tugboat graveyard.
- Rutgers Camden Center for The Arts
- South Jersey Performing Arts Center
- Susquehanna Center
- Walt Whitman House
Local Colleges and Universities
- Camden County College: 200 College Drive, Blackwood, New Jersey 08012.
- Camden/Rutgers: 303 Cooper Street, Camden, New Jersey 08102.
- Rowan University: Located in southern New Jersey, Rowan is a public research school, combining liberal arts education with professional preparation from the baccalaureate through the doctorate degrees. 201 Mullica Hill Road, Glassboro, New Jersey 08028.
- University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey is New Jersey's university of the health sciences and the nation's largest public university of the health sciences. These facilities also have regional campuses in five communities.
- University of Pennsylvania - Also a Major Employer. This is one of the oldest universities in America and, as a member of the Ivy League, one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in all the world.
Good Job Listings in Camden NJ
Camden has been overcoming poverty to the extent that by January 2019, over 50,000 job listings were available in the market area. This is over four times the jobs available during the same month in 2014.
The Highest Demand Jobs
- Truck Drivers with CDL license
- Child care, housekeepers and companions through Care.com
- University of Pennsylvania: Various occupations.
- Retail Salespeople
- RN Nurses, Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs)
- Physical and Occupational Therapists
- Engineers - IT, Electrical, Mechanical
- Oil and Gas Jobs, including convenience stores and gas stations.
- Business Analysts
- Supermarket Jobs, all levels
© 2013 Patty Inglish MS