The Importance of Educating Students About Finances
Steve Adubato sits down with Linda Bowden, New Jersey Regional President, PNC Bank, to talk about her new role with the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce; business in New Jersey; and the importance of educating students about finances.
"We are pleased to welcome Linda Bowden, who is New Jersey Regional President, PNC Bank, and also the Chairwoman of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. Good to see you Linda. You too Steve. Always. Make it clear what the Chamber's role is. The Chamber's role, put very simply, is to ensure that the business environment in New Jersey is friendly, that there's a vital economy that, indeed, is able to enhance the businessperson's success. What's standing in the way of the state being more, quote, "business friendly"? You know, I think all states have issues, certainly. And New Jersey's not alone. Obviously, people talk about taxes. There's no question that we are one of the higher tax states that does put a burden on our businesses. Especially small business. But what I would say is... and the governor has said this repeatedly, if you're a single-issue voter, if taxes are the only thing you care about, maybe we're not necessarily the state for you. But we feel, as a state, there are many other things we can offer from a business perspective. The second thing I would say, is workforce development. You know Steve... What does that mean? Well, you know Steve, being part of PNC Bank, we have many middle market customers, and that really is the bread and butter of our state. And when you go out and talk to these folks, they will tell you that one of their greatest challenges is finding... not finding people, but finding people with the specific skills needed for their business. So what we're trying to do, and I know the governor's leading this, Tom Bracken, our president, is... Tom Bracken, president of the state chamber. Go ahead. President of the state chamber. Michele Siekerka from NJBIA. We've got some wonderful business leaders. What we're working hard to do is to ensure that there's a strong partnership between business and higher ed. So that our universities, our county colleges in particular, have the kinds of programs that will allow people to graduate with the kinds of skills our businesspeople need. And if I could give you an example... Sure. I was just with one of our customers, really, maybe two months ago, and they do clips for machinery... huge business with this. 800 employees in the state of New Jersey. Clearly a business we want to keep here. And I asked him point blank, "How are you finding doing business here? What are the challenges? What are the good things?" Obviously, accessibility in the state is a big positive. People find this a very easy place to do business from... Location matters? Location matters. Transportation hub. Et cetera. The thing that this CEO mentioned, more than anything, he said..."