Op-Ed: County Colleges, Vo-Tech Schools — Partnering to Boost NJ’s Prosperity

Judy Savage & Aaron R. Fichtner | September 6, 2020 | NJ Spotlight |

 

Working together lets us address urgent challenges like restarting the economy, closing critical skills gaps, and expanding education and career opportunities to all New Jerseyans

Earlier this month, the leaders of New Jersey’s 18 county community colleges and 21 county vocational-technical school districts came together (where else, but on Zoom?) to focus on how we can collaborate to expand high-quality educational opportunities to better prepare students for success in high-demand careers.

Our career-focused county institutions have always shared a commitment to meeting labor market and employer needs with certificate and degree programs that prepare our state’s diverse student population for well-paying careers, especially in the high-demand technical fields.

And, while many of our schools and colleges have been working together for years, rapid social, economic and technological change — magnified by the upheaval of the pandemic — create a new imperative for collaboration. Now more than ever, having affordable education pathways that respond to the needs of students and employers is vital to ensuring New Jersey’s economic recovery.

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