These past few years have been an extraordinary time for career and technical education in New Jersey and for our state’s county vocational-technical schools.
Our schools are frequently recognized as being among the nation’s leaders in innovation and achievement.
Just recently, six of the top ten schools on Newsweek’s “America’s Top High Schools” list were New Jersey county vocational-technical schools, an impressive accomplishment and a tribute to the hard work of our students, our staffs and the local school districts that prepare our students for this kind of rigorous high school experience.
New Jersey’s state leaders are acknowledging that success and the value of CTE by their strong support.
Assembly Speaker Vincent’s Prieto’s extraordinary commitment to making county vocational-technical schools a legislative priority led to the bi-partisan approval of six bills that will help our schools and ultimately enable more students to benefit from career and technical education.
This commitment continued in the newly enacted state budget, where we received funding for two important initiatives.
Under the Speaker’s leadership, the Legislature allocated $3 million for another round of CTE partnership grants. And, after many years, we received welcome recognition that adult education is an important economic initiative, as the Legislature restored $4 million in funding for adult CTE and adult high school programs.
This is a clear indication that policy leaders at all levels of government and in the private sector now recognize that career and technical education is a key driver for our economy and that it benefits all types of students.
This is a period of tremendous opportunity for us as county vocational-technical school leaders, and our challenge is to continue the positive momentum by building and strengthening partnerships to enhance and grow our programs.
I am honored and humbled to serve as the new president of the Council. A dedication to excellence is the hallmark of all of our schools, and I look forward to more great accomplishments in the years to come.
Timothy McCorkell is the superintendent of the Monmouth County Vocational School District and the president of the New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools.