TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today announced the formation of a statewide council of leaders to advise on New Jersey’s restart and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Governor’s Restart and Recovery Advisory Council will work in conjunction with the commission named last week and will bring together leaders from various industry, community, and faith-based groups and institutions across New Jersey to advise state leadership on economic issues impacted by the pandemic.
“As we begin the difficult task of restarting New Jersey’s economy and recovering from the damaging effects of COVID-19, this advisory council brings together leaders from all walks of New Jersey life,” said Governor Murphy. “This group will not only help us gather the local intelligence we need to get our economy running again, but also will help us create the framework for coping with our new long-term economic realities.”
In addition to focusing on issues surrounding the short-term restarting of New Jersey’s economy, this council also will begin the task of positioning the economy and creating a framework for the long-term recovery.
The council will be co-chaired by New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education, Dr. Zakiya Smith Ellis, New Jersey Economic Development Authority CEO Tim Sullivan, and Choose New Jersey President and CEO Jose Lozano. The council will have nine subcommittees, each of which will be chaired by a council co-chair.
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every facet of life and every sector of our economy in some way. As we plan for how we can ensure New Jersey remains a place where opportunity meets innovation, I am honored to join many of our state’s most talented thought leaders, as well as my state colleagues, to ensure we are not overlooking any aspect of a successful recovery,” said Dr. Zakiya Smith Ellis, Secretary of Higher Education. “The work of this council will complement a group of higher education leaders who will consider the role of higher education in the state’s restart and recovery efforts.”
“COVID-19 is first and foremost a public health crisis, but it’s also an economic crisis on a scale that outpaces anything in recent memory. Restarting and then driving a recovery of our economy will require comprehensive input from a wide spectrum of economic and community stakeholders, and Governor Murphy has assembled an extraordinary group of New Jerseyans to help guide these efforts via this council,” EDA CEO Tim Sullivan said. “I’m honored to join Zakiya, Jose and the Governor’s Office to help lead this effort to build a stronger, fairer and more resilient economic future for New Jersey.”
“I look forward to working with New Jersey Higher Education Secretary Dr. Zakiya Smith Ellis and NJ Economic Development Authority CEO Tim Sullivan to co-chair the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Advisory Council, as well as various industry leaders and community members to rebuild our economy in the wake of the worst pandemic of our lifetime,” said Jose Lozano, CEO of Choose New Jersey. “It is critical that we engage our state’s business community and help them every step of the way on the road to recovery. As a blueprint for restarting New Jersey’s economy is developed, we’ll look to the council to advise on short and long-term considerations and opportunities. I look forward to working with committee members to ensure New Jersey rebuilds stronger than ever from this crisis.”
The advisory council subcommittees will begin virtual meetings next week. The nine subcommittees are Facilities and Construction; Government; Health Care; Main Street; Manufacturing and Supply Chain; Professional Services; Social Services and Faith; Tourism and Entertainment; and Transportation and Infrastructure.
While the commission named by Governor Murphy last week will focus on national, state and macroeconomic issues surrounding the restarting, the advisory council will take a microeconomic view of the recovery, determining the individual challenges that each sector faces. The advisory council is expected to remain empaneled for as long as necessary to advise the Governor on the state’s recovery.
“We understand that we need a smart, granular approach to recovery. How you reopen a restaurant at the shore is different from how you restart a factory in South Jersey,” Governor Murphy noted. “This council will also be guided by our core principle of building a New Jersey that is stronger and fairer and works for every family.”
Members of the council and their respective committees can be found here.