New Jersey EDA Chief Caren Franzini, a Lambertville resident, is the first ever recipient of PlanSmart NJ's new Economic Development Achievement Award. She will receive the award Nov. 8 at the Annual Dinner for PlanSmart NJ, the new name for the Regional Planning Partnership, the state's oldest and largest land use research and advocacy organization based in Trenton.
Dianne Brake, president of PlanSmart NJ, said the EDA chief deserved special recognition for her many years of service. "Caren Franzini has always understood the important link between economic development and smart growth, which is vital to the future of our state. Many of the EDAs grants are within growth areas designated by the State Plan. It's this kind of targeted thinking that has helped Caren stand apart from her peers."
The EDA is an independent, self-sustaining state financing and development agency that works to promote economic growth, job creation, and the revitalization of New Jersey's communities with financing assistance, technical support and entrepreneurial training and real estate development activities. In 2006, under Franzini's direction, the EDA arranged for $425 million in financing assistance and $120 million in business and technology tax incentives that are supporting public-private investments of $1.8 billion and the creation on an estimated 15,000 new, full-time jobs.