Legislative Update on Career-Tech Education: Report Details Effectiveness of Legislative Action

December 18th, 2015




Five bills supporting career and technical education approved by the Legislature and the Governor in 2014 have already provided major benefits for students and schools throughout the state, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association and the New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools said in a report to the Senate and Assembly today.

The report highlighted the impact that the new laws have had in just one year, including seven new career and technical education programs, new partnerships with businesses and colleges, and an increased statewide focus on career readiness preparation.

“Businesses are all about getting results, so I am pleased to be able to demonstrate to the Legislature that the bills they approved have already had a positive impact,” said NJBIA Chief Government Affairs Officer Melanie Willoughby.

“The world’s job market is changing, and thanks to the bipartisan support of legislators and the Governor, New Jersey’s education system is changing with it. The bottom line is our students will be better prepared for tomorrow’s jobs and careers,” Willoughby said.

NJCCVTS Executive Director Judy Savage said the new laws, sponsored by Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Senate President Stephen Sweeney and more than 40 legislators from both parties, “responded to the needs of students, families and employers by increasing the state’s focus on career readiness and creating mechanisms for short-term expansion of career and technical education programs.

“The state’s education and business communities took these tools they were given and moved quickly to implement new programs and policies that respond to employer needs for a skilled workforce. It’s a great example of what can be accomplished in a very short time when policy makers, schools and employers are all working together towards the same goals,” Savage said.

Read the letter to the Legislature.

Review the report.

As a result of the new laws:

• This fall, seven county vocational-technical schools used state grants to launch new career and technical education programs in partnership with employers, colleges and local school districts that focus on high demand industries.

• The New Jersey Department of Education is adding new indicators in the annual School Performance reports to measure students’ career-readiness as well as college-readiness, including participation in career and technical education programs and work-based programs such as internships.

• There is now an increased focus throughout the state on dual credit agreements and dual enrollment programs that allow students to earn college credits while in high school.

• The State Board of Education has adopted career readiness practices as part of New Jersey’s Core Curriculum Content Standards, and New Jersey has joined 16 other states in a national Career Readiness Initiative.

“On behalf of the business community and the vocational schools, we want to thank the Governor and the legislators for their strong support of career technical education,” Willoughby said

For further information:

Peter Peretzman, NJBIA.  609-393-7707, ext 9502  pperetzman@njbia.org
Steve Wilson, NJBIA.  609-393-7707, ext 9495  swilson@njbia.org
Kathryn Forsyth, NJCCVTS.  732-573-9734  katforsyth@comcast.net

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