Deputy Senate Republican Leader Diane Allen toured Burlington County Institute of Technology’s Westampton campus with BCIT Superintendent Dr. Christopher M. Manno and Principal Joseph Venuto and unveiled new legislation to better develop New Jersey’s workforce.
“BCIT does a fabulous job of preparing students and workers for jobs in meaningful fields and I’m pleased to have the support of Dr. Manno, Principal Venuto and the vo-tech community today as we work to build on that success by strengthening and expanding the state’s training and education programs. This package of legislation, among other things, will make sure more students are aware of the opportunities that exist at schools like BCIT, make it easier for vocational-technical schools to expand and will better align education and training programs to prepare students and workers for jobs in fields that are critical to the state’s economy. Through these initiatives we can strengthen New Jersey’s already strong workforce and help draw more companies and innovators to the state.”
“Senator Allen has proven to be a friend of education, and we are very pleased to support the effort to expose more students to career-focused learning,” said. Dr. Manno. “Career and technical education is a critical part of the workforce talent pipeline.”
“We appreciate Senator Allen’s support and acknowledgement of career and technical education as we continue to meet the educational and economic demands of the 21st century,” added Principal Venuto. “Reaching more students with career-focused learning programs will have long-term economic benefits for New Jersey”
Before today’s tour, Senator Allen met at BCIT with county vocational school superintendents from across the state to discuss the legislation.
Here is a briefing of the “Developing Our Workforce” bills unveiled today at BCIT:
- Expands career and technical education (CTE) in New Jersey by creating a commission to study and improve CTE program access; making it easier for vocational-technical schools to purchase new facilities; better promoting vocational-technical schools and CTE programs and their best practices and incentivizing schools to start CTE programs. This will increase the availability and visibility of quality education and workforce development options for children in New Jersey that currently have little access to or knowledge of their county vocational-technical school (S-2616, sponsored by Senate Republican Diane Allen).
- Gives businesses supporting critical areas of the economy preference in competing for state training grants. The bill will make sure the state’s training grant program is focused on driving New Jersey’s workforce development efforts to critical fields like manufacturing, STEM or other areas critical to the growth of New Jersey’s economy (S-2760, sponsored by Senate Republican Dawn Addiego).
- Establishes a permanent P-20 Council to align early childhood, secondary, higher education and workforce training to better address workforce development needs. This council will better position educators making Pre-K and K-12 school curricula decisions, college administrators, state employees awarding training grants and others in New Jersey’s workforce development pipeline to prepare students and workers for jobs in needed fields (S-2852, sponsored by Senate Republican Diane Allen).
- Dedicates Workforce Development Partnership Funds to former casino employees. This bill will ensure that state workforce development resources are used to provide out-of-work casino employees with the training needed to find meaningful employment in new and/or changing industries (S-2840, sponsored by Senate Republican Diane Allen).
This “Developing New Jersey’s Workforce” event marks the second of Senate Republicans’ statewide rollout of a new six-tiered job creation and economic growth package, which will not cost taxpayers extra money and should easily attract bipartisan sponsors and support.
In the coming weeks, the media will be advised as Senate Republicans tour the state to help grow the economy and create opportunities for people, by unveiling more new legislation in these four remaining categories of the jobs bill package:
- Lowering Excessive Costs
- Reducing Burdensome Regulations
- Enhancing Tourism & Agriculture
- Improving New Jersey’s Economic Development Policies & Programs