Sitting in a glass-walled conference room at Port Elizabethâ€™sbuilding, with a panorama of giant cranes unloading container ships visible to one side and a highway full of cargo-bearing trucks behind him, Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) heaped praise on the portâ€™s job-creating might, saying it could help boost the stateâ€™s anemic economic growth.
Provided, that is, that the state finds funding to improve the road and rail infrastructure the port depends on, Sweeney said. And that the cumbersome process of hiring longshoremen and other skilled workers is improved, industry officials added.
â€œWe have a functional port that is poised to explode with growth and economic opportunity, but we on the state side are ignoring that by not making the necessary improvements to move things,â€? Sweeney (D-Gloucester) said. â€œWe really want to bring attention to great jobs that provide middle-class incomes, where people can support their families. We have the capacity to grow them.â€?