NJBIZ recently ran an in-depth article analyzing New Jersey’s ability to support significant growth in the manufacturing industry. To read the full article, which appeared on Sept. 26, 2022, visit the NJBIZ website; you may need to register to access it.
Jackie Burke, executive director of the New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools (NJCCVTS), offered the following update as to how county career programs are increasingly focused on training students to enter highly technical jobs in manufacturing:
Fortunately, the state has already invested “in a number of manufacturing and STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics]-focused programs through its awarding of $257 million in Career and Technical Expansion grants to date,” observed Burke. “The grants are part of the 2018 voter-approved Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act, which earmarked funding for construction projects to accommodate new career programs and space for thousands of additional high school students across New Jersey’s 21 county vocational-technical schools.”
The NJCCVTS works to connect employers in manufacturing and a range of other industries with vocational-technical schools as partners, advising on curriculum, mentoring students, and providing work-based learning experiences. “Somerset County Vocational-Technical Schools, for example, partnered with Raritan Valley Community College to start the Mechatronics, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing program in 2016,” she said. “Another example is the manufacturing program serving students from both Morris County Vocational School District and the County College of Morris (CCM). U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg even visited the college’s manufacturing center to spotlight it as a model for how partnerships can lead to much-needed workforce programs, especially ones that support the federal infrastructure initiative.”