The state budget signed by Governor Chris Christie in June restored $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.
Funding for the adult programs was a priority of Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, whose legislation to restore funding received bi-partisan approval from the Assembly and Senate in 2014. The state budget authorized funding for the adult programs in 2015-2016.
The funds 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.
Support for adult high schools and post-secondary programs was eliminated from the state’s public school funding formula several years ago. As a result, many county vocational-technical schools were forced to close or scale back those programs; others had to rely more heavily on county support or increased student fees.
“Career and technical education is an educational and economic strategy that can help to ensure our state’s continued growth and competitiveness,” said Judy Savage, the executive director of the New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools. “Making these programs available and affordable to young people and adults who want to advance their careers is a key element in that strategy,”
“Our schools and our students 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,” Savage said.