Verizon was considering moving one of its large New Jersey offices to Virginia back when Richard Codey was governor. In a discussion with the Verizon CEO, Gov. Codey conceded that the cost of living was lower in Virginia but he made a compelling argument for staying in New Jersey.
First he asked the Verizon executive: where will your employees send their children to school? Think of the educational opportunities in New Jersey. Second, he said, think of the cultural opportunities available to your employees; the plays, concerts, and sporting events not only in New Jersey but in the two major cities that border us, New York and Philadelphia. The easy access we have to the mountains in the northwest part of the state and the beaches along the east coast. The standard of living we have is hard to get almost anywhere else. In the end, Verizon decided to stay in New Jersey in large part because of Gov. Codey’s argument. (At least that is how former Gov. Codey related the story.)
When I heard Gov. Codey tell this story before a group of business officials I thought that it was a great argument to continue to invest in New Jersey public education. (more…)