If Fort Monmouth does pull up its drawbridge, as it’s slated to do, thousands of specialized tech workers would have to uproot their families and move to Maryland.
But maybe not. In the federal defense budget, two U.S. Representatives (Rush Holt and Frank Pallone), have inserted $3 million for a new New Jersey Technology Center, where the specialized techies could continue to provide intelligence and communications support to the U.S. military.
Don’t confuse the to-be-created New Jersey Technology Center with the Technology Centre of New Jersey, the tech park owned by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. (When checking on TCNJ I found that Chubb Institute has changed its name, which slipped by me. Chubb’s education arm went deep into the red, was bought by private equity, separated from the insurance company, and is now called Anthem Institute. It’s across the street from what must be its arch rival, DeVry Institute.)
The bill passed the House on July 30 and still needed Senate approval, as of Friday, July 31.
“The men and women of Fort Monmouth — the scientists, engineers, and acquisition specialists who make the IED jammers and related devices — have acquired their skills over decades of service,” said Holt in a press release. “You can’t buy this kind of talent off the street and certainly not fresh out of grad school, which is why funding the Center and utilizing those workers who will stay in New Jersey is so important.”
Here’s an idle, obstreperous idea: Could those defense techies have found another home in Einstein’s Alley, for instance at the Sarnoff Center, which is busy with defense contracts as well? From the New Jersey shore to Maryland is too long a commute, but from the shore to Princeton is doable. And Sarnoff has extra space and like minds.