RobertWhether you are a lifelong resident, a recent resident, a business owner or just ‘passing through’ you will quickly learn what is special and unique about Gloucester County, NJ.

As a top producer of peaches, and a leader in agricultural food sales in the state, Gloucester County remains true to its agricultural roots. The county has taken the lead in permanently preserving more than 15,000 acres of farmland and open space in order to maintain the quality of life to its residents.

Add to our abundant farmland and open spaces a strong educational system; a pristine parks system; a large inventory of properties for development and redevelopment; a well-trained work force; and a supportive business environment – and you will find the perfect mix of opportunity and quality of life.

The cost of living in Gloucester County is lower than most other major US metro areas, and the county maintains one of the lowest property tax rates in New Jersey. In fact, Gloucester County was only one of two counties in New Jersey to cut its tax rate in 2011.

The county has access to many major highways, several airports, national, regional and local railways, and multiple ports, including the much-anticipated deepwater Port of Paulsboro. Gloucester County is also known for being business-friendly, which is why the county is home to 23 industrial parks, covering 6,300 acres. With ample development and redevelopment opportunities and an aggressively proactive Department of Economic Development, public-private partnerships thrive in Gloucester County.

Gloucester County is within one hour of nearly 100 accredited colleges and universities and has two higher-learning institutions within its borders, one of which is opening the first new medical school in New Jersey in 30 years.

The county’s work force is continuously nurtured through various programs, such as the Gloucester County One-Stop Career Center, providing services to both job seekers and businesses and the Gloucester County Workforce Investment Board, whose function is to develop a work force investment system that meets the need of future growth of the region.

One indication of a community’s well-being is population growth. Gloucester County grew an estimated 13.4 percent – or by more than 34,000 people – between 2000 and 2009. Statewide, the rate was 3.5 percent. And with an astounding 214 percent growth in population, Gloucester County’s Woolwich Township was the fastest-growing municipality in New Jersey for that period.

In spite of the growth, Gloucester County has remained true to its roots in agriculture, which continues to reign as a leading industry. About 23 percent of the acreage in the county is actively cultivated, the largest active land use percentagewise, according to the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. Another 34 percent of the county remains wooded.

Many other industries are also flourishing in the county, distinguished by its diversified industry sectors.

Food processing, agriculture, chemical refining and processing, health care, logistics and other industries are well established here, offering a broad variety of co-location and job opportunities. Among the leading and expanding industries in the county is logistics, with numerous facilities offering warehousing, distribution and manufacturing facilities, thanks to the easy access to road, rail, water and air transportation.

An important addition to this inventory is the Port of Paulsboro, the first new marine terminal facility on the Delaware River in more than 50 years. This $274 million, 190-acre project will accommodate a range of export, import and domestic products and boast one day delivery to 100 million consumers.

Gloucester County is a hub for food manufacturing with 600 different food manufacturing companies are within a 50-mile radius. Many food manufacturers in the county are growing in terms of expanding product lines and adding clients, leading to tremendous increases in sales and millions of dollars in capital investments to their infrastructure and work force.

Another significant growth area is health care. In the last several years, the infrastructure of the health care sector in the county has tripled. Since 2008 alone, at least $160 million in improvements and new facilities have been completed by the health care providers within the county.

The diversity does not end there. The county is attracting a number of high-tech industries, as well as clean energy, solar and green industries. And, the County itself is undertaking a number of Green Initiatives including operating the first solar powered traffic signal in New Jersey.

The Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders is always looking for ways to serve our citizens at the lowest possible cost, to be innovative and to play a vital part of the fabric of our community.

If you are looking for the best place to raise your family, grow your business or just relax, then come to Gloucester County.

Close to everything and far from it all, Gloucester County is the place to be.