From NJ Spotlight: New Bond issue edges closer as vo-techs make case for urgent state funding

October 19th, 2017

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.

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