NJBIA Honored as Statewide Business Partner of the Year

October 25th, 2013

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New Jersey’s county vocational-technical schools have honored the New Jersey Business & Industry Association as their 2013 Business Partner of the Year.

The award recognizes the employer association’s leadership in promoting career and technical education and county vocational-technical school programs.

The New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools presented the award to NJBIA Senior Vice-President Melanie Willoughby and Director of Policy and Research Andrew Musick during the Council’s annual meeting of county vocational-technical school board members in Atlantic City on October 23.

Facing employer concerns about the availability of a skilled workforce, NJBIA is working closely with the Council to raise awareness about the value of career and technical education and to build support for the expansion of career-focused learning opportunities at county vocational-technical schools.

“NJBIA is leading the effort to create a New Jersey Employer Coalition for Technical Education, a statewide partnership of employers, lawmakers, and educators who support New Jersey’s county vocational-technical schools,” said Judy Savage, executive director of the vocational school Council.  The Coalition is in the formative stages and will be formally launched in January, she said.

Together, the two organizations have developed a policy paper that describes the skills gap facing employers and makes the case for increased focus on career and technical education and alternatives to the four-year degree.  The paper includes specific recommendations to support the expansion of county vocational school facilities, new programs to address industry needs, greater business involvement in CTE programs, and state policy that will support multiple pathways to student success rather than four-year college for all.

NJBIA and NJCCVTS have also held joint meetings throughout the state with legislators, business groups, individual companies and related organizations to discuss the coalition and urge them to endorse its goals and become involved in the effort.

“While each of New Jersey’s 21 county vocational-technical school districts annually honors a local business partner for their support of schools and career programs, this year our statewide association voted unanimously to honor NJBIA for their strong support and leadership at the state level,” Savage said.

“NJBIA’s efforts to raise awareness about education and career opportunities that do not require a four-year degree, and their support for expansion of county vocational-technical schools and programs will have lasting benefits for students, employers, and the economy,” she said.

With more than 20,000 members, NJBIA is the largest statewide employer association in the United States, and a highly-respected voice in the New Jersey and national business communities.

The New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools is an association of superintendents and board members representing the state’s 21 county vocational-technical school districts.  The Council’s mission is to promote and enhance the career and technical education opportunities offered by our members.

Pictured above, from left:  Middlesex County Vocational & Technical Schools Superintendent and NJCCVTS Vice-President Brian Loughlin, NJBIA Director of Policy and Research Andrew Musick, NJCCVTS Executive Director Judy Savage, NJBIA Senior Vice-President Melanie Willoughby, and Monmouth County Vocational School District Superintendent and NJCCVTS President-Elect Timothy McCorkell.

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