February 20, 2014

NJ Employers, Legislative Leaders Launch Coalition to Support Career and Technical Education – News, Videos

Senate President Stephen Sweeney at the news conference.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney at the news conference.

Employer and education leaders and Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto have announced a new partnership to help ensure New Jersey’s economic prosperity by supporting career and technical education opportunities that address the state’s workforce needs and prepare students to successfully hit the ground running in filling jobs that are in demand.

Spearheaded by the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, the NJ Employer Coalition for Technical Education already involves small businesses, large companies, labor unions, trade associations, educational institutions and individuals throughout the state.

The coalition’s goals include promoting quality career and technical education opportunities, engaging more employers with vocational-technical schools and students, and expanding county vocational-technical schools and programs.

“With the Senate President, we will put a focus on this,” said Speaker Prieto.  “We will partner with the business community and with all the advocates and the stakeholders to make sure that this is something that is doable and will be very successful.”

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto at the Coalition news conference.

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto at the Coalition news conference.

Senate President Sweeney noted that “it is very rare when you can bring all the elements together like this, but we have a real crisis in this country.”

“We must align our education policies with workforce needs to create a pipeline of qualified young adults with the academic, technical and work readiness skills that employers need,” said New Jersey Business and Industry Association President Philip Kirschner.

“We believe that the coalition and its more than 100 members will bring career and technical education to the forefront, encourage  the expansion of county vocational-technical school opportunities for students, and ensure that when our young people graduate from high school they do so with the skills that ensure they will be ready for the workplace,” Kirschner said.

Assembly Education Committee Chairman Patrick Diegnan speaks at the news conference.

Assembly Education Committee Chairman Patrick Diegnan speaks at the news conference.

“I think that this is the most exciting thing that has happened in my 13 years in Trenton,” said Assembly Education Committee Chairman Patrick Diegnan.  “Nobody does it better that our county vocational-technical schools, and if I ruled the world, I would put 10 more vocational schools or career academies throughout our cities in particular and give kids a shot.”

More from the news conference:
Watch the video of the news conference (about 20 minutes).
Read the news release.

News stories on the announcement:
From the Star Ledger:  NJ coalition of businesses, educators seeks to turn vocational schools into jobs pipeline
From NJBIZ:  NJBIA launches partnership with county vocational schools
From NJ101.5:  High-Paying NJ Jobs, No Degree Required [AUDIO]
From NJSpotlight:  Business Coalition Calls Vo-Tech Schools Crucial to NJ’s Future

More Information:
See the list of Coalition members.
Some exemplary employer-driven partnerships in NJ county vocational-technical schools.
Read more about the Coalition.
Learn more about NJ’s county vocational-technical schools: Career-focused public schools, preparing New Jersey’s future workforce.

Gloucester County Institute of Technology Superintendent Michael Dicken, PSEG's Director of Talent Acquisition and Diversity Outreach Scott Trapp, NJCCVTS Executive Director Judy Savage, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Somerset County Vocational & Technical Schools Superintendent Dr. Chrys Harttraft and Morris County Vocational School District Superintendent Scott Moffitt at the news conference.

Gloucester County Institute of Technology Superintendent Michael Dicken, PSEG’s Director of Talent Acquisition and Diversity Outreach Scott Trapp, NJCCVTS Executive Director Judy Savage, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Somerset County Vocational & Technical Schools Superintendent Dr. Chrys Harttraft and Morris County Vocational School District Superintendent Scott Moffitt at the news conference.

 

Coalition members meet with Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto prior to the news conference.  From left:  Judy Savage, Executive Director, NJCCVTS; Jim Mahlmann, President, Netcetra LLC; Melanie Willoughby, Senior Vice-Presidenr, NJBIA; Andrew Musick, Director of Policy and Research, NJBIA; Assembly Speaker Prieto; Marilou Halvorsen, President, NJ Restaurant Association; and Eric DeGesero, Executive Director, NJ Independent Electrical Contractors

Coalition members meet with Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto prior to the news conference. From left: Judy Savage, Executive Director, NJCCVTS; Jim Mahlmann, President, Netcetra LLC; Melanie Willoughby, Senior Vice-President, NJBIA; Andrew Musick, Director of Policy and Research, NJBIA; Assembly Speaker Prieto; Marilou Halvorsen, President, NJ Restaurant Association; and Eric DeGesero, Executive Director, NJ Independent Electrical Contractors