New Jersey governor says he wants to build new manufacturing plant
By MICHAEL SANDERS By MICKE VUETTERTO/Associated PressBURLINGTON, N.J. (AP) Gov.
Chris Christie said Tuesday he wants a new factory to produce a new model made in his state and said he’s open to helping with a state program that aims to revive a manufacturing industry that has struggled for years.
Christie spoke at a rally for the New Jersey Manufacturing Council in a largely blue-collar town in northeastern New Jersey.
He also touted the economic benefits of a state-sponsored apprenticeship program and said it would create 10,000 jobs, as he did in his first major campaign speech since winning the presidency last year.
“There are a lot of people who have been waiting for this for a long time, and now that we have the opportunity to put this together, we can get to the jobs,” Christie said.
The New Jersey Manufacturers Association is spearheading a $2.5 billion program to help train workers and train new hires to manufacture cars, boats, tractors and other products in New Jersey and other states.
The group’s president, David Ruppel, said he was encouraged by Christie’s plan and was encouraged that his administration had taken action to get the project off the ground.
“We’re hopeful that we can move forward with the program, and that we’ll be able to have a manufacturing plant in New Brunswick,” Rupple said.
“I believe that New Jersey can be a model for the nation,” he said.
Christie said the state should be able attract new manufacturers because it has a lot to offer in terms of jobs and manufacturing, a key point for the governor.
“Our state has the talent and the talent base, and I believe that we should be the place that we want to be,” Christie told supporters.
He has been campaigning in the Garden State with former president Donald Trump.
The Republican-led Congress has made it a priority to overhaul the nation’s immigration system, which he has called a “broken system.”
Christie has said he supports allowing some undocumented immigrants to work in the U.S. and said in March he would push for a border wall.
Christie has promised to make it easier for New Jersey residents to obtain driver’s licenses.
He is campaigning to win over moderate Republicans and independents in New Hampshire and in Virginia, two states where he is struggling to expand his lead in the polls.
He is also trying to fend off pressure from Trump, who has been critical of Christie’s immigration policies.
Christie and Trump have a strained relationship, with the New York businessman accusing Christie of being a liar.
Trump, who was at the rally, said Christie was not qualified to lead the country and would “do a terrible job” in office.