The Murphy administration this week asked the Legislature to approve a second round of grant funding for projects totaling $57 million at 12 county colleges and vo-tech school districts using monies from the $500 Million “Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act” approved by voters in 2018.
NJBIA actively supported the passage of the bond act to close the “skills gap” that leaves well-paying jobs vacant and holds back economic growth. The bond act set aside $325 million of the $500 million for grants to county colleges and county-vocational school districts to help meet the high demand for career and technical education (CTE) programs. The remaining bond funds were earmarked for K-12 school security and water infrastructure projects at schools.
The first round of CTE bond funding, previously approved by the Legislature, appropriated $26 million for county college CTE projects and over $220 million for county vocational school district CTE projects. This second round of $57 million in proposed funding would provide $20 million for county colleges and $37 million for county vocational technical school districts.
The $20 million for county colleges would be used to expand classrooms, laboratories, libraries, computer facilities and other academic structures to increase CTE program capacity. The six awards proposed in this category are:
- Camden County College, $4 million
- Essex County College, $4 million
- Raritan Valley Community College, $4 million
- Rowan College of South Jersey, $3.75 million
- Passaic County College $3.38 million
- Sussex County Community College, $862,500
The $37 million proposed for projects in six county vocational school districts would increase student capacity in CTE programs by funding renovation and new construction, including demolition, site improvements and physical plant upgrades, and furniture and equipment in renovated, reassigned, or new spaces. The six vo-tech districts recommended to receive funding in Round 2 are:
- Cape May, $14.45 million
- Burlington (Westampton), $10.42 million
- Burlington (Medford), $5.9 million
- Hunterdon, $3.75 million
- Salem, $2.25 million
- Passaic, $197,024
“This second round of funding builds on my administration’s efforts to provide New Jersey students with access to high-quality education,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in a May 31 statement announcing the grant recommendations. “Career and technical education programs are key to providing young people with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their chosen career. Investing in our county colleges and vocational schools is how we invest in our state.”
Additional grant opportunities for the remaining funding will be announced at a later date, the governor said.