Regional Center Introduces Comprehensive Marketing Tool

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c/o Somerset County Planning Board • P.O. Box 3000, Somerville, New Jersey 08876-1262

Phone: 908-231-7021 • Fax 908-707-1749 • www.regionalcenterpartnership.org

A partnership for a better tomorrow

Township of Bridgewater • Borough of Raritan • Borough of Somerville * Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders Somerset County Planning Board • Somerset County Business Partnership • Somerset County Park Commission

Private Sector Businesses in the Regional Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2014

REGIONAL CENTER INTRODUCES COMPREHENSIVE MARKETING TOOLKIT

SOMERVILLE, NJ – On Monday, December 8, 2014, the Somerset County Regional Center Partnership formally introduced “Amazing Things Are Happening In & Around the Regional Center Toolkit,” a comprehensive marketing package that focuses on the benefits, amenities, and advantages available to Somerset County businesses and residents in and near the Somerset County Regional Center.

The Regional Center is the strategic center of Somerset County. The area consists of 12.6 square miles encompassing Raritan Borough, Somerville Borough, and a portion of Bridgewater Township. The Center is the focal point of County government and the regional economy and is bisected by U.S. Route 206, U.S. Route 202, U.S. Route 22, NJ State Route 28, and I-287 with comprehensive public transit options.

The “Amazing Things” Toolkit includes video & Powerpoint components that function as a marketing tool to support the business attraction and retention needs of developers, the tourism industry, realtors, human resource professionals, educators, residential and commercial real estate professionals, economic development professionals, and others who desire to explain the benefits of the county and communities in the heart of Central New Jersey.

The package of materials, available to the public on DVD or thumb drive, includes two Powerpoint presentations, one that explains what a Regional Center is and what the designation enables the communities to accomplish, while the other details the “Amazing Things” that are found in and around the communities of Bridgewater, Raritan, and Somerville.

In addition, the Toolkit includes a series of videos that highlight the history of the region and the 7 virtues of the Regional Center while outlining the significant quality of life amenities including natural features and attractions; cultural attractions, programs and events; access to services and resources; major economic initiatives and major infrastructure investments. The Toolkit showcases the Regional Center as a highly attractive location to work, live, shop and for recreation.

Freeholder Pat Walsh, liaison to the Regional Center, opened the Monday program by telling the eighty-plus people in attendance that the Somerset County Regional Center is the model for inter jurisdictional cooperation in New Jersey and is one of the twenty-four Somerset County Priority Growth Investment Areas as defined by the County Investment Framework adopted earlier in 2014.

Troy Fischer, Chair of the Regional Center Partnership, explained that the toolkit coordinates “all the marketing pieces from municipalities, the county, and advocacy organizations into to one comprehensive marketing initiative.” He explained that the Toolkit is a dynamic document that will change and grow over time.

Explaining that pieces of the program can be extracted for customized use, he reinforced the fact that the entire six-part program is available for public use.

Fischer noted that it is important to communicate the virtues of the Regional Center to the Millennial generation that is expected to have a great impact on the economy in coming years. He outlined the things that the generation is seeking: Diversity and customization from transportation options to technology to transportation; Affordability among housing choices drawing them to regions with established infrastructure; High tech, high visual, and immediate gratification. His conclusion is that the Regional Center satisfies all of these criteria and the Toolkit program communicates that message.

Raritan Mayor Jo-Anne Liptak praised the Regional Center Partnership for providing the opportunity for the three communities to work together rather than independently, encouraging communication and interfacing on common issues. She noted that over the years that the Regional Center has been operational, the borders between the 3 communities have become blurred. Among the advantages that she has seen for Raritan are the numerous grants that the borough has received that they otherwise would not have attained and the opportunity to market the community as part of a larger initiative.

Somerville Mayor Brian Gallagher praised the Regional Center Partnership for providing the opportunity for a diverse group of public and private sector representatives to regularly sit around a table, all with equal influence in the discussion. He outlined the “Three C’s” of the Regional Center: Connections – the opportunity to discuss social and municipal impact of issues; Communication – everyone equally seated at the same table; Cooperation – figuring out “how to” instead of “why not;” Construction – ability to take action and get things done.

Keynote speaker was Michael Henderson of ChooseNJ who outlined the operation of the organization and the efforts to attract and retain business in New Jersey.

Following this introduction, an aggressive marketing effort will communicate the availability of the free resource. It will be made available on disk and thumb drive and will be structured so that component parts may be extracted by the user to allow development of a customized program for any particular use.

The “Amazing Things” program will be supported by social media outreach featuring the events happening every day that make the Regional Center special.

A web site, www.rcponline.org features the entire Toolkit which is also available on disk or thumb drive by contacting the Regional Center Partnership by email at info@rcponline.org with name, organization, address and request for DVD or thumb drive.

PHOTO CAPTION: The Somerset County Regional Center introduces “Amazing Things Are Happening In & Around the Regional Center,” a comprehensive package of marketing materials of Regional Center businesses.

BACKGROUNDER

The Somerset County Regional Center is the strategic center of the County consisting of 12.6 square miles encompassing Raritan Borough, Somerville Borough, and a portion of Bridgewater Township. The Center is bisected by U.S. Route 206, U.S. Route 202, U.S. Route 22, NJ State Route 28, and I-287 with public transit options and serves as the focal point of County government and the regional economy.

The Regional Center designation:

  • encourages achievement of policy objectives in critical areas of growth
  • enables development and redevelopment by providing priority funding for land use studies, the reclaiming of brownfields, and a broad range of planning and implementation initiatives
  • makes available priority funding for economic and community programs that provide for assistance with redevelopment in existing downtown business districts, new infill development opportunities, and residential and non-residential development along  major highway and mass transit corridors will foster establishment of more effective mass transportation linkages and will provide priority funding for key intersection and corridor improvements and improved pedestrian accessibility
  • makes available support and funding for linear open space concepts, for the planning  and design of new and existing active recreation facilities, for passive open space acquisitions, and for new and existing historic preservation and revitalization programs.

PRESS CONTACT:      Rich Reitman 908-526-1390 or 908-400-6061