Picatinny Arsenal’s economic impact is focus of LEAD Morris visit

By Eric KowalJune 6, 2023

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - Picatinny Arsenal hosted the Morris County Chamber of Commerce LEAD Morris Class of 2023 for an Economic Development Day on May 24 during which approximately 30 community members toured the installation.  One of the stops during the tour was the Navy Turret Facility, part of the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division, Picatinny Detachment.
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - Picatinny Arsenal hosted the Morris County Chamber of Commerce LEAD Morris Class of 2023 for an Economic Development Day on May 24 during which approximately 30 community members toured the installation. One of the stops during the tour was the Navy Turret Facility, part of the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division, Picatinny Detachment. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Jesse Glass) VIEW ORIGINAL

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - Picatinny Arsenal hosted the Morris County Chamber of Commerce LEAD Morris Class of 2023 for an Economic Development Day on May 24 during which approximately 30 community members toured the installation.

The visit was part of LEAD Morris' 10-month program in which participants take a day-long fieldtrip each month to various business, government, or education facilities in Morris County. The theme for the visit focused on economic development.

Founded in 1991, Leadership Morris is a community education program of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. The program teaches business professionals and non-profit executives about the opportunities, challenges, institutions, and the people of Morris County. After a leadership change in 2022, Leadership Morris officially changed its to LEAD Morris.

The curriculum is designed for both established leaders and for persons identified as future leaders whose business acumen and community consciousness will help to make a difference in Morris County.

Lt. Col. Alexander Burgos, Picatinny Arsenal garrison commander, is one of the community members enrolled in the 2023 class. Since Picatinny became involved in the program in 1998, 34 Arsenal employees have graduated from the course.

As part of Economic Development Day visit to the Arsenal, Burgos provided opening remarks and informed the attendees about the organizational structure of the installation and its 26 mission partners.  Picatinny is the second largest employer in the county, and one of 80 U.S. Army garrisons around the globe.

Burgos explained how each organization has its own distinct mission, while the garrison performs functions that keep the installation operating, while ensuring readiness and a quality of life.

“We serve these mission partners so that they can produce what they can perform their designated missions,” Burgos said. “We are the Joint Center of Excellence for Guns and Ammunition, and that was mandated by Congress. There is a lot of incredible work being done here by some really intelligent scientists and engineers,” he continued.

Following remarks from the garrison commander, Ed Ramirez, LEAD Morris Executive Director, provided a discussion on leadership.  Representatives from the North Jersey Recruiting Company, and the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division, Picatinny Detachment, provided brief overviews of their mission and capabilities.

Gregory Roehrich, chief of the Business Interface Office, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center, gave an overview of the Armaments Center's mission and vision, along with details on the number of employees who live and work in Morris County.

In speaking of the economic impact that Picatinny Arsenal provides to the Garden State, Roehrich stated the installation totals “approximately $350 million annually in New Jersey labor, with $154 million of that in Morris County.”

Roehrich also described the organization's collaboration with academia, its focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs, as well as other partnerships that support continued protection of the nation and environment.

“In the past five years, Picatinny Arsenal executed $67 million in New Jersey contracts,” Roehrich stated.

Roehrich went on to say that of the $6.5 million in contracts that were assigned in Morris County, “100 percent were awarded to small businesses.”

As part of the visit to Picatinny, there was a hands-on, small arms display provided by Marines of Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment reserve unit stationed at Picatinny.

After a working lunch, the class took a tour of the Frog Falls Aquatic Park, Commissary, and Military Exchange, to get a better understanding of some of the businesses that operate on post, and how they serve military members, employees, and residents.

The class also visited the installation’s Navy Turret Facility, Homeland Defense Compound, and received a brief on historical and environmental elements from Jason Huggan, chief of Environmental Affairs Division.

Donna Campbell, a Picatinny Arsenal employee and Leadership Morris Alumni, coordinated the installation support for the event.