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New Jersey Colleges

New Jersey Colleges


New Jersey was linked to New York in its earliest colonial days, and became a royal colony on its own in 1702.  Driving through northern New Jersey, one is struck by the industrial wasteland that seems to surround the New Jersey Turnpike.  And if fact, the state is heavily industrialized and central to commerce on the Eastern Seaboard.


Its wide diversification has given New Jersey the nickname “Crossroads of the East.”  Products from over 15,000 factories can be delivered overnight to almost 60 million people, representing 12 states and the District of Columbia. The greatest single industry is chemicals; New Jersey is one of the foremost research centers in the world. Many large oil refineries are located in northern New Jersey: a number of them provide that scenery along the Turnpike leading to New York City.   Other important manufactured items are pharmaceuticals, instruments, machinery, electrical goods, and apparel.


Despite the factories and the distribution system, the state remains an agricultural force.  About twenty percent of the state’s land is in agricultural production – nearly one million acres.  Cranberries, blueberries and most garden vegetables are grown commercially in New Jersey.  The “New Jersey tomato” has gained coast to coast fame for its flavor, and thrown scorn on the tomatoes emanating from western farms and coming out of Mexico.


Its 127 miles of coastline have made tourism a major economic force in the state: it is an enduring tradition among New Yorkers to spend some portion of the sweltering summer at “the sho-ah” and more often than not that shore is in New Jersey.  And since 1977, legalized gambling in Atlantic City has been a magnet for more adventuresome visitors to the state.


Many residents of the state’s northern suburbs commute to Manhattan and partially as a result of that fact; the state’s median income is ranked second in the nation, trailing only Connecticut – which happens to be the other convenient out-of-state commute for Manhattan executives.  So there is affluence in New Jersey, and a strong industrial base. 


New Jersey’s contribution to the Ivy League is Princeton University, which also operates one of the nation’s leading research centers through their Institute for Advanced Study. For the rest of us, Rutgers and Seton Hall are among the colleges within the state and there are a number of community colleges as well. 


New Jersey is an established state, in every direction that you look.  The shoreline is heavily developed for the tourist and summer trade.  Northern New Jersey is one of the great industrial complexes of the East.  The piedmont area west of the shoreline is checkered with long established farms.  The northern suburbs are either generations-old blue collar towns or quiet, tree lined affluent bedroom communities.  And so the opportunities there must lie between the cracks. 


Research and development is surely a component of the industrial giants that operate in the north of the state.  One of the compelling things about many of the new businesses in today’s economy is that they don’t require large amounts of warehouse and office space.  The state’s proximity to New York City and the lower prices of commercial space make it a good guess that the technology ventures centered in New York must have spilled into New Jersey to some degree.

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