In 2014: The City’s economy is fundamentally intertwined with the City’s social structure. The high level of social inequality relative to surrounding municipalities highlights the obstacles many Trentonians face when trying to achieve the basic quality-of-life that their neighbors enjoy. A weak economy provides limited opportunities for personal growth and reinforces a social structure that contributes to economic hardship. Equally important, the deficient quality of and limited access to education, cultural/civic amenities, and social services adversely affects many resident’s ability to contribute to a vibrant economy. As one resident clearly pointed out, “I cannot tell if poverty is the cause or the symptom.” (East Ward Meeting)
In 2042: Trenton will be the economic and cultural center of the mid-Jersey region with a innovative and diverse local economy. Trenton’s advantage will come from its well trained workforce, educated citizenry, physical location, and diversity of cultures.
A network of public and private institutions - including civic groups, schools, colleges, businesses, philanthropic organizations, churches, and fraternities/sororities, among others - will excel at preparing residents to make social and economic contributions to society. Trenton students will be as well, or better, educated than their peers who live in surrounding municipalities. Students will have opportunities for both occupational training as well as college preparedness. Equally important, City residents will live within a “culture of graduation”, where residents have the support to complete the degrees they strive to achieve. The result will be a creative, highly-trained workforce that provides businesses and industry with the support they need to grow Trenton’s economy.
In addition, the City’s history and rich cultural diversity will provide a competitive advantage in the region. Trenton will have capitalized on an influx of immigrants to grow its private sector. The City will have repurposed inherited industrial assets - including buildings and infrastructure - to serve both social and economic goals. These spaces will be among the many places where creativity and innovative people come to work on their projects and grow their businesses. The result will be a City that capitalizes on its history and unique cultural assets to provide a diversity of goods, services, and social opportunities not available anywhere else in the region.