The state budget signed by Governor Chris Christie includes funding to expand career and technical education opportunities for high school and adult students.
The Fiscal Year 2016 budget restores $4 million for adult training at county vocational-technical schools, as well as adult high schools, to enable more out-of-school youth and adults to get the training and credentials needed to enter the workforce. The funding was a priority of Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, whose legislation to restore funding for these programs received bi-partisan approval by the Assembly and Senate in 2014. The funding provided in the budget will support high quality, affordable high school completion and career training programs that respond directly to local employer needs in key industries such as construction, health care, automotive repair, information technology, and hospitality.
The budget also includes $3 million to continue the successful County Vocational School Partnership Grant Program, which is already expanding access to high quality career and technical education programs that meet the needs of New Jersey employers. The first round of multi-year grants were awarded this year to fund six new career and technical education programs to begin this September. A second round of partnership grants in FY 2016 will spur the creation of additional partnership programs in existing facilities so that more students can get a jump-start on career preparation and college readiness.
The partnership grant program is a key component of Speaker Prieto’s 2014 legislative package to expand career and technical education. Funding a second round of partnership grants builds upon this commitment, and takes another important step toward expanding career and technical education opportunities to serve more students and respond to employers’ needs for a skilled workforce, said NJCCVTS Executive Director Judy Savage.
“Career and technical education is as an educational and economic strategy that can help to ensure our state’s continued growth and competitiveness,” Savage said. “We are very grateful to the leadership of the Assembly and Senate for making these programs a priority, and to the Governor for approving this funding as part of the state budget”