NJCCVTS president and Morris County Vocational School District superintendent Scot Moffitt, NJCCVTS executive director Judy Savage and Bergen County Technical Schools superintendent Dr. Howard Lerner speak at the Manufacturing Caucus hearing at the County College of Morris on October 17.

Garden State’s vocational high schools appeal for more money to help them keep pace with the rising demand for technical training

New Jersey voters will decide in a few weeks whether the state should take on more than $100 million in new debt to pay for library capital projects. But even as the fate of that proposed borrowing has yet to be determined, lawmakers are already starting to explore the next big bond issue that could go before voters.

A bipartisan group of legislators that is looking at ways the state can better support an ongoing rebirth of the New Jersey manufacturing industry took testimony yesterday from representatives of the state’s 21 county vocational school districts, who are seeking more funding to help keep pace with a rising demand for technical training that’s being driven, in part, by the manufacturing sector.

Schools turned away nearly 60% of applicants

This year, the vocational high schools had to turn away nearly 60 percent of their applicants due to a lack of available classroom space, even as companies across the state have been complaining that they can’t find enough workers with the right technical skills to fill all available job openings.

To fill the void, the lawmakers are considering floating a new state bond issue to help the vocational schools build new facilities, expand current classroom space, and update equipment.

Read the whole story.

Middlesex County Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences student Owais Aftab speaks at the awards ceremony.  He accepted the award with (from left) Principal Terri Ann Sullivan, MCVSD Superintendent Dianne Veilleux and Assemblyman John Wisnewski.

The Middlesex County Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences was recognized by the Healthcare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ) as “one of the crown jewels of New Jersey’s public schools” at HINJ’s Life Sciences Celebration 2017.

The annual HINJ event recognizes leaders in the health sciences industry and the health care community.

Middlesex County Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences was honored for the school’s achievements in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education.

HINJ President and Chief Executive Officer Dean J. Paranicas said, “It is entirely fitting that we honor the efforts of those who share our industry’s ideals.  The life sciences community in New Jersey has a long, distinguished and innovation-driven history that has benefitted patients around the world.  I am confident that we will long continue to be a global leader.”

Located in Woodbridge, the Academy’s focus is to provide high school students with an intense curriculum to prepare them for college majors in the medical and biomedical research fields.

The award was accepted by Superintendent Dianne Veilleux, Principal Terri Ann Sullivan and student Owais Aftab.

Read the HINJ news release here.

Dianne D. Veilleux, who had been assistant superintendent for seven years, has taken charge as superintendent of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools.

She succeeds Brian J. Loughlin, who retired Sept. 1 after 40 years with the district and seven as superintendent.

The board of education voted in May to appoint Veilleux after a subcommittee interviewed 10 candidates for the position, narrowing the choice to three finalists.

“It’s an honor,” she said. “I have a lot of pride in our district and I’m optimistic about the future. We have an impressive staff who are skilled, hard-working and dedicated. I know we are going to do great things.”

Brian Bilal, formerly principal of the School of Career Development on the MCVTS Piscataway Campus, has been named assistant superintendent.

Veilleux, who has worked her entire career in the district, is a graduate of Sayreville High School and has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Rutgers University.  She is a resident of Belmar.

She started her career as a school social worker and has been assistant principal of the East Brunswick Campus, district substance abuse awareness coordinator, district supervisor of special education, and principal of the Middlesex County Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences in Woodbridge.

“I am confident that Dianne and her team will continue the stellar tradition of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools, preparing our students to succeed in college and in their careers,” Loughlin said.  “I am honored to have been able to serve the people of Middlesex County for so long.”

The Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School District, the first full-time county vocational school district in the nation, has seven schools on five campuses, in East Brunswick, Edison, Piscataway, Perth Amboy and Woodbridge.  The Perth Amboy Campus, the Edison Academy and the Woodbridge Academy have been named National Blue Ribbon Schools.  The East Brunswick Campus has been designated a National Green Ribbon School in recognition of its “green” curriculum and sustainable building management practices.

More information is available at www.mcvts.net.

Contact:  Dianne Veilleux, (732) 257-3300, Ext. 1910

From the Star Ledger and nj.com

By Steve Sweeney

New Jersey’s county vocational-technical schools are among the best in the country and are critical to our state’s economic future in an era when good-paying jobs in every industry from manufacturing to healthcare to technology require higher skills.

Graduating from one of our county vo-tech schools has meant punching a ticket to a good job for tens of thousands of New Jerseyans. Yet last year, our county vo-techs were forced to turn away 15,500 qualified students because of a lack of available space.

Meanwhile, employers in advanced manufacturing, healthcare, technology and other fields report a shortage of middle-skilled workers – those with valuable vo-tech training and up to two years of county college. A recent McKinsey and Company report identified the “growing mismatch between the type of middle-skilled workers New Jersey has and middle-skill jobs that employers need to fill” as one of our biggest barriers to our future economic growth.

That’s why I announced last week that I am fully committed to developing, passing through the Legislature and sending to the voters for approval next year a major bond issue to fund the construction, expansion and equipment of county vocational-technical skills. It is the best investment we can make as a state to simultaneously create jobs and hold down county property taxes.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Senator Bob Gordon announce the proposed bond act and the new manufacturing caucus at a news conference in Trenton on August 15.

Under the leadership of Senator Bob Gordon, D-Bergen, himself a management consultant who worked in his family’s manufacturing business in Paterson, the vocational-technical education bond issue will be one of the top priorities of the bipartisan Legislative Manufacturing Caucus.

The New Jersey we grew up in was a manufacturing powerhouse, anchored by Campbell Soup and RCA in Camden, with glass factories, food-processing plants, shipyards, textile mills and other companies employing hundreds of thousands. Workers without a high school diploma could buy a home, raise their families and retire with a pension. Those days are long gone, but manufacturing isn’t.

Today, New Jersey has 10,552 manufacturers employing 358,000 people who produce 5 to 10 times the output that workers did 30 years ago.

Advanced manufacturing will be an important driver of economic growth, not only in the pharmaceutical, biotech and chemical industries that are a bulwark of New Jersey’s economy, but also in our fastest-growing sector: the logistics industry that is mushrooming because of our transportation infrastructure and our prime location at the center of a Boston-to-Washington market of 60 million people.

New Jersey’s central role as a supply-chain state and the growing business and consumer demand for just-in-time delivery – same day, not overnight – creates an opportunity for New Jersey to be a leader in the additive manufacturing technology that will be needed to make final product changes just prior to shipping from the giant distribution centers that line the turnpike.

Our new caucus needs to take a fresh look at our business-incentive programs to make sure that we provide support not just to established larger companies, but also to the emerging new start-ups being created by millennials that have the best growth potential.

New Jersey has just 16 incubators set up to assist and encourage entrepreneurs – far fewer than the 375 incubators in California and 179 in New York, the McKinsey report noted.

The Manufacturing Caucus will develop strategies to build up the specialized manufacturing our pharmaceutical, biotech, chemical and high-tech industries need, and that will require increased collaboration between employers and our research universities, county colleges and county vocational-technical schools.

That’s why strengthening and expanding our county vocational-technical schools is such an important first step. While 30 percent of our county vo-tech graduates go straight into good-paying jobs in the workforce, another 30 percent go to county colleges and 40 percent go to four-year colleges, particularly schools with strong engineering and technical programs such as the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers University, Rowan University and Stevens Institute of Technology.

We need to ensure that these students have a clear path from vo-tech to county college to four-year colleges to make sure they can maximize their earnings potential and provide the workforce our advanced manufacturing companies need to grow and succeed.

Preparing the middle-skilled workers that businesses need is critical to our future economic growth and our prosperity.

Steve Sweeney, a Democrat, is the New Jersey Senate president. He represents Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties.

Senate President Steve Sweeney (center) and Senator Bob Gordon (to his right) announce the bond act proposal at a news conference at the State House in Trenton

News release from the Senate Democratic Office:

Senate President announces creation of Legislative Manufacturing Caucus, as businesses cite need for vo-tech aid to address shortage of middle-skilled workers

TRENTON – Citing a statewide shortage of middle-skilled workers needed to spur economic growth, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Bob Gordon today called for the development and passage of a major bond issue to expand and equip New Jersey’s county vocational-technical schools.

Senator Sweeney also announced the creation of a Legislative Manufacturing Caucus, chaired by Senator Gordon, and urged the bipartisan panel to make development of a vocational-technical bond issue that meets the needs of New Jersey employers and students one of its top priorities.

News coverage:

NJTV:  Legislators announce creation of manufacturing caucus
Associated Press:  Lawmaker: Proposed Bond Sale Would Benefit Technical Schools
NJSpotlight:  With vo-techs turning away students, lawmakers consider bond issue
Asbury Park Press:  NJ should borrow money for vocational schools, lawmakers say 
NJ.com: Lawmakers call for major expansion of N.J.’s vo-tech schools
The Observer:  NJ Lawmakers Plan to Bond Millions for Vocational Schools
Newsworks:  New Jersey needs more workers with voc-tech training

In addition to Senator Gordon, the bi-partisan Manufacturing Caucus will include Senators Linda Greenstein (D-Mercer), Nellie Pou (D-Passaic), Ron Rice (D-Essex), Steve Oroho (R-Sussex), Joseph M. Kyrillos Jr. (R-Monmouth) and Bob Singer (R-Ocean), and Assembly members Nick Chiaravalotti (D-Hudson), Benji Wimberly (D-Passaic), Andrew Zwicker (D-Middlesex), Adam Taliaferro (D-Gloucester), Anthony Bucco Jr. (R-Morris), Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) and Maria Rodriguez-Gregg (R-Burlington).

“Expanding high-quality vocational-technical education is critical to our state’s future economic growth and the prosperity of our workforce,” Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester) said at a State House news conference.  “Our excellent county vocational-technical schools were forced to turn away 15,500 qualified applicants last year, even though our increasingly high-tech employers have job vacancies they cannot fill due to a shortage of middle-skilled workers.

“That’s why I am pledging today to put a major bond issue for the construction, expansion and equipping of our county vo-tech schools on the November 2018 ballot,” the Senate President said.  “We need to emphasize public-private partnerships that match up our county vo-tech programs with the needs of employers, ensure that our vo-techs share facilities with their county colleges, and provide a seamless transition from vo-tech high schools to two-year and four-year colleges and apprenticeship programs.”

Senator Gordon (D-Bergen/Passaic) said the bipartisan Manufacturing Caucus will convene for its first meeting in Paterson next month with the goal of developing a legislative package for consideration in December.

He said there is a clear need for a vocational-technical education bond issue, pointing out that an ongoing shortage of middle-skilled workers has been cited by New Jersey manufacturers, biotech executives and other industry leaders, and by a recent McKinsey & Company report as a major barrier to the state’s future economic growth.

“While New Jersey has one of the most highly educated workforces in the country, the mismatch of middle-skilled workers – those with a vo-tech education and a couple years at a county college – with the jobs that employers need to fill in sectors like high-tech manufacturing, healthcare, construction services and heavy vehicle maintenance is a drag on job creation and economic growth,” said Senator Gordon.

Judy Savage, Executive Director of the New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools, welcomed the bond issue, which Senator Sweeney initially discussed at a forum with county vo-tech officials last month.

“Vocational, or career and technical education, is gaining steam across the nation, and the demand is especially intense here in New Jersey,” Ms. Savage said.  “While the demand varies by county and by program, on a statewide average, there are almost 2.4 applicants for every available seat in our schools.  The time is right for a major investment in high quality career and technical education programs, which are provided most cost-effectively at the county level , where students from all local schools can have access to the programs and specialized equipment.”

Dr. John Kennedy, President and CEO of the New Jersey Manufacturers Extension Program, and Melanie Willoughby, Chief Government Affairs Officer for the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, welcomed both the promise of increased vocational-technical funding and the upcoming formation of the Legislative Manufacturing Caucus.

“We support the vocational schools and the more involvement and investment we can make the more value they will bring to the critical manufacturing and STEM industries,” said Dr. Kennedy.

“NJBIA supports the funding increase for vocational education in our career and technical high schools, so more students can focus on career readiness,” said Ms. Willoughby.  “Increasing the capacity of our vocational-technical schools means filling more high-demand programs for students to ultimately develop a more skilled workforce in New Jersey.”


Scott Moffitt, the superintendent of the Morris County Vocational School District (MCVSD), is the new president of the New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools (NJCCVTS).

The Council is the non-profit advocacy association representing the state’s 21 county vocational-technical school districts. Voting members are the superintendents of the districts.

NJCCVTS president and MCVSD superintendent Scott Moffitt

Moffitt’s two-year term as president began July 1.  He has served as an officer of the Council since 2011.

“I am honored to have been chosen by my colleagues to lead this dynamic organization,” Moffitt said.

“Public policy leaders in New Jersey and throughout the nation are now recognizing the value of 21st century career and technical education.  Career-focused programs that expand opportunities for students and strengthen the economy by addressing the skills gap are critical for our state,” he said.

“This is a very exciting time for county vocational-technical schools as we expand the CTE opportunities for all types of students,” Moffitt said.  “We are fortunate to have such strong support from state and county officials and the business community.”


Other new Council officers

The Council also elected a new team of officers and executive committee members for two-year terms that began on July 1.  They are:

President-elect: Michael Dicken, Superintendent, Gloucester County Institute of Technology
Vice-President: Dr. Chrys Harttraft, Superintendent, Somerset County Vocational & Technical Schools
Secretary: John R. Swain, Superintendent, Salem County Vocational Technical Schools
Treasurer: Dr. Christopher Nagy, Superintendent, Burlington County Institute of Technology
Executive Committee:
Patricia Fitzgerald, Superintendent, Camden County Technical Schools Executive Committee (at large)
Dr. Kimberly Metz, Superintendent, Hunterdon County Vocational School District (at large)
Timothy McCorkell, Superintendent, Monmouth County Vocational School District (past president)
Dr. Howard Lerner, Superintendent, Bergen County Technical Schools (past president)
Dr. Philip Guenther, Superintendent, Atlantic County Institute of Technology (past president)
Frank Gargiulo, Superintendent, Hudson County Schools of Technology (past president)
Diana Lobosco, Superintendent, Passaic County Technical Institute (past president)

Scott Moffitt background

Scott Moffitt joined the Morris County Vocational School District in January 2004 as the business administrator/board secretary.  He was named assistant superintendent in 2008, and has been in his current position since 2010.

Under his leadership, the Morris County School of Technology (MCST) was honored for its academic excellence as National Blue Ribbon School by the US Department of Education in 2013.

In addition, the Morris County Academy for Mathematics, Science and Engineering and MCST have both been included on U.S. News and World Report’s and Newsweek’s lists of top high schools in New Jersey and the nation.

Moffitt began his career with the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE), where he held various roles in the Office of Innovative Programs and Practices and was the acting manager of the Charter Schools Office.  He has also served as director of the Alexander Hamilton Charter School in Paterson, and as the NJDOE Morris County Business Administrator.

In recent years, he has been actively involved in NJDOE’s career readiness initiative to improve student preparation for the 21st century world of work.

He is currently a key member of the state’s newly-established Career Pathways Task Force, which facilitates collaboration between state education and workforce agencies to prioritize high-skill, high-demand career pathways for high school students.

Moffitt is vice-president of the executive committee of the Morris County Association of School Administrators, and serves on the Morris, Sussex, and Warren County Workforce Investment Board.

He holds a master’s degree in public administration (with a specialization in management) from New York University, and a BA in political science from Rutgers University.

Off campus, he enjoys spending time with his family and his three young children.  He serves as a volunteer coach with his children’s sports organizations, is an avid fisherman and likes to play golf when time permits.

NJ Senate President Stephen Sweeney (second from left) receives the 2017 Career and Technical Education Leadership from NJCCVTS President and Morris County Vocational School District Superintendent Scott Moffitt (right).  They are joined by Salem County Vocational School District Superintendent John R. Swain (left) and NJCCVTS Executive Director Judy Savage

(News release from Senate President Sweeney’s Office)

Monroe Township – Senate President Steve Sweeney was honored for his longstanding commitment to vocational education in New Jersey and his success in providing support for county vocational-technical schools throughout the state.

The New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools presented Senator Sweeney with its Career and Technical Education Leadership Award at its summer meeting in Monroe Township.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney addresses the NJCCVTS 2017 summer meeting

“Vocational education is a key part of the educational opportunities we must make available to students in New Jersey,” said Senator Sweeney.

“These schools provide job skills and training that can prepare them for good jobs.  In today’s rapidly-evolving economy, vocational programs are more important than ever.  We cannot afford to overlook Vo-Tech programs as we continue to work to improve educational opportunities,” Senator Sweeney said.

The school funding reform plan that was successfully incorporated into the state’s budget for the upcoming year includes an increase of $5.1 million for Vo-Tech schools, one of the most significant increases in years.

The budget also includes separate allocations of $4 million for adult vocational education, which is critical if we are going to be able to put displaced workers back to work and meet the needs of industries looking for skilled workers, Senator Sweeney said, and $3 million for the Partnership Grant Program that supports four-year Vo-Tech schools.

Senator Sweeney said that the next step in the school funding plan is to use the proceeds of a newly-enacted millionaires tax to provide an additional $600 million for New Jersey’s public schools, which would include $33 million for vocational education.

“Senator Sweeney has provided sustained leadership on behalf of career and technical education in New Jersey, demonstrating a real commitment to the needs and priorities of county vocational-technical schools and students,” said Scott Moffitt, NJCCVTS President and Superintendent of the Morris County Vocational School District.  “With his support, we continue to make great progress with career-focused programs that serve our students and support New Jersey’s economy.”

New Jersey’s county vocational-technical school districts have become national models for preparing high school students and adults for college and for 21st century careers.  They now enroll more than 32,000 secondary school students and more than 5,000 adults who are looking to expand their technical skills in various fields.

Five of the top ten high schools in New Jersey are county vocational-technical schools, according to US News & World Report’s 2017 America’s Best High Schools survey.  Four county vocational-technical schools were honored with silver medals and 15 schools won bronze medals in the Best High Schools survey. Of the 106 New Jersey high schools recognized by US News, 27 were county vocational-technical schools.

SCOTCH PLAINS — Walk into Union County Magnet High School in Scotch Plains and one of the first rooms you see off the lobby is the new “maker space.”

The school gutted its old multi-media room and filled it with 3-D printers, robotics equipment and tens of thousands of dollars in high-tech machinery for its engineering students to play with.

Across the courtyard, students in the neighboring Academy for Information Technology are hunkered down over a bank of computers in a student-run “Hack Shack,” where they take turns teaching each other everything from the latest Java coding tricks to the best way to crimp an ethernet cord.

In a neighboring building, students in the Academy for Allied Health Sciences spend the equivalent of their gym class walking on treadmills in a high-tech lab while their classmates practice monitoring their heart rates on EKG machines…

…(V)o-tech districts still have classes for future welders, hairdressers and auto mechanics.  But a growing part of their mission is now schools designed for students headed to top colleges.

The specialized high schools are still considered vo-tech because they all have a strong career component that can include internships and other real-world experience in various fields.

The demand to get into the schools continues to rise.  Most districts advertise the county-run magnet schools by sending mailings to students’ houses and fliers to middle schools.  Some districts also send counselors to area schools to recruit prospective students.

Most students who get in say they heard about the schools through word of mouth.

Andrea Diaz, 16, a junior from Linden, said she wanted to get into Union County Magnet High School from the moment her mother first told her about it…

Sitting for the entrance exam was intense.

“I was so nervous.  I wanted to get in so bad,” Diaz said.

When she heard she got in, she was on the verge of tears.  When she arrived as a freshmen, she was surprised by the amount of work expected of her and the intensity of her high-achieving classmates.

But, Diaz said she never thought of going back to her local high school.  Getting into the magnet school may help alter her future as she aims to get into a top engineering school, like MIT.

Read the whole story and see the pictures.

TOMS RIVER – Ocean County is going to build a performing arts high school.

The $26.7 million project is planned for the campus of Ocean County College in Toms River with an anticipated 2019 opening, the Board of Freeholders announced Wednesday at an agenda meeting.

Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari said the proposed 53,000-square foot building will be financed through a partnership between the state of New Jersey, the county government, the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation, and the county college.

When completed, the operation of the school will be administered by the Ocean County Vocational Technical School system.  However, the students who attend the school will be eligible to take the required course work necessary to graduate from high school with both a diploma and an associate degree from the county college, Vicari explained.

The vocational school’s current performing arts academy is located inside historic Hangar One at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst…

…(T)he Grunin foundation…has invested more than $12 million in philanthropic projects in the Toms River area (since 2013), with a primary focus on the arts.

OCC President Jon H. Larson said the future students of the performing arts school will be able to cut the cost of their college tuition in half by earning an associate degree at the two-year college at the same time they earn their high school diploma…

William P. Hoey, Jr., superintendent of the vocational school system, said the partnership with the county college went beyond a planned building on its campus.

“We’re also going to be sharing additional classroom space at the college,” Hoey said. “We’ll be using the student center; our kids will be using the library, the gymnasium, the ball fields and all of that exists so the county is not having to put in additional dollars to add that to a (new) high school.”

Read the whole story here.

The students who participated in the 2017 NJAC County Vocational-Technical Schools Cook-Off at the New Jersey Association of Counties annual conference in Atlantic City

Tantalizing aromas and eye-popping visual displays greeted attendees at the New Jersey Association of Counties annual conference as they entered the final event of the session, the sixth annual NJAC County Vocational-Technical Schools Cook-Off.

The team from Camden County Technical Schools begins preparations at their station

Teams of culinary arts students from 11 county vocational-technical school districts were charged with preparing 400 samples of an appetizer or hors d’oeuvre and creating decorative serving stations reflecting the theme of their entries.

Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded in several categories.

“Our freeholders and other county officials were awed by the creativity, talent and poise of the cook-off teams, and as always, the food was outstanding,” said NJAC Executive Director John Donnadio.

“The cook-off has become one of the most anticipated and popular events of the conference, and though it’s hard to believe, every year it seems to get more exciting,” Donnadio said.

A student from Cumberland County Technical Education Center describes her team’s entry to a judge

NJCCVTS Executive Director Judy Savage said the cook-off provides an opportunity for county officials and other conference attendees to see the results of their investment in county vocational-technical schools.

“The culinary arts students — and students in other programs ranging from health sciences, to STEM, to construction trades – are pursuing their passions,” Savage said. “In preparing for their careers and higher education, they are gaining real-world experiences and in many cases college credits, while they are still in high school.


An Essex County West Caldwell Tech student prepares for the competition

“Our schools, our students and their parents are very grateful to the county officials whose support makes these opportunities possible,” she said.

As the students carefully plated, presented and explained their entries, three panels of judges – a group of NJAC members and sponsors, a group of professional chefs and all conference attendees, who voted for the People’s Choice Awards – spent a very happy hour sampling the offerings and casting their ballots.

The districts participating this year and their entries were:

Bergen County Technical Schools:  Middle Eastern Delight: Baba Ghanoush with a Kafta Ball Served on Couscous Rounds with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce and Tomato Cucumber Relish

Camden County Technical Schools:  Braised Beef Short Rib Taco with Mexican Street Corn Salsa and an Avocado Crema

Cumberland County Technical Education Center:  Mojo Pork Taco with Pico De Gallo, Pickled Radish Slaw and Cilantro Lime Creama, Served with a Crispy Shrimp Spoon with Black Bean and Avocado Puree, Pineapple Pico, Roasted Jalapeno, Mango Coulis and Micro Corn Shoots

Monmouth County students prepare their hazelnut-crusted pork tenderloin

Essex County Vocational Schools’ West Caldwell Tech:  Grilled Angus Beef Patty with Sauteed Leeks, Finished with Irish Whiskey Marmalade, Topped with Beer Cheese Lemon Beurre Blanc Sauce and Irish Bacon, and Served with Guinness and Onion Soup with an Irish Cheddar Crouton

Gloucester County Institute of Technology:  Crab Macaroni and Cheese on a Crispy Cone with Pancetta Cream

Hudson County Schools of Technology’s High Tech High School:  Sabor del Caribe (Flavors of the Caribbean): Ropa Vieja Beef

Mercer County Technical Schools:  Dark Honey and Bourbon Sausage Served with a White Corn Cake and a Roasted Tomatillo Stuffed with Smoked Gouda and Onion Bourbon Jam

Mercer County Technical Schools’ dark honey and bourbon sausage with a white corn cake and a roasted tomatillo

Middlesex County Vocational & Technical Schools Perth Amboy Campus:  Seared Barnegat Scallops with Shiitake, Spinach, Corn Puree, Popcorn, Cranberry Dust and Micro Cilantro

Monmouth County Vocational School District:  Hazelnut-Crusted Pork Tenderloin Served with a Strawberry Balsamic Glaze and Paired with Strawberry Salsa and Micro Greens

Morris County Vocational School District:  Pork Belly Buns

Passaic County Technical Institute:  All-American Grilled Cheese with a Smoked Tomato Bisque Shooter

At a very exciting ceremony following the event, all students received certificates of participation from NJAC and the competition awards were presented.

Gloucester County Institute of Technology students present their entry to the Professional Chefs judges

The team from Camden County Technical Schools took home the People’s Choice Gold Medal, guaranteeing Camden a chance to defend the title in the 2018 competition.

Cumberland County Technical Education Center won the People’s Choice Silver Medal.  Hudson County Schools of Technology’s High Tech High School won the Bronze.



The team from Morris County Schools of Technology prepares for the competition

Other honors went to:

NJAC Judges Panel Taste:

Gold – Camden
Silver – Cumberland
Bronze – Hudson

NJAC Judges Panel Station Display:

Gold – Cumberland
Silver – Passaic
Bronze – Monmouth

Hudson County Schools of Technology’s Ropa Vieja Beef


Professional Chef’s Judges Panel Taste:

Gold – Cumberland
Silver – Middlesex
Bronze – Monmouth

Professional Chef’s Judges Panel Presentation:

Gold – Middlesex
Silver – Hudson
Bronze – Cumberland

The New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools is grateful to the New Jersey Association of Counties for sponsoring this competition every year, and to the staffs at NJAC and Caesars Atlantic City, whose hard work makes it so successful.

The team from Passaic County Technical Institute with their food truck station display

A student from the Middlesex County Perth Amboy Tech team explains their seared Barnegat scallops entry to the judges

A student from Bergen Tech Teterboro adds the final touches to her team’s entry