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The New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) President Aaron R. Fichtner, Ph.D., and Vice President Catherine Frugé Starghill, Esq., were recently named to the 2023 NJBIZ Education Power 50 List for the second consecutive year. 

 Anthony Iacono, Ph.D., president, County College of Morris and an NJBIA board member, was also among the prominent education leaders recognized on the NJBIZ Education Power 50. 

 NJBIZ editor Jeffrey Kanige said the honorees were selected “based on our reporting throughout the last year with input from experts in a variety of fields and recommendations from our readers. The staff looks for people who have gained public attention – and perhaps acclaim – for their professional accomplishments and public service. Each list identifies individuals who, through their efforts, are helping to make New Jersey a better place to live, work, and do business.”  

 In their leadership roles at NJCCC, Fichtner and Starghill spearheaded the New Jersey Pathways to Career Opportunities Initiative, a partnership with NJBIA that brings together industry and education partners to form a connected statewide education ecosystem guided by industry leaders to build an innovative workforce in the Garden State.  

 During the first year, this cutting-edge initiative connected and enhanced 22 education and training pathways within the four fastest growing industries. Now in its second year, NJ Pathways has more than 1,200 industry and education partners statewide.  

 “Aaron and Catherine are well-respected thought leaders in education in New Jersey and the nation,” said Mary M. Zimmermann, NJCCC Chair. “After witnessing and being actively involved in NJ Pathways – a transformational initiative leading the way in the alignment of workforce and education – I am not surprised that both these exemplary individuals and friends of mine have been named to the 2023 NJBIZ Education Power List 50.” 

 Prior to becoming President of NJCCC in 2018, Fichtner served as the commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL), where he had previously served as the Department’s Deputy Commissioner and the Assistant Commissioner for Research and Information. Fichtner also served as Chair of the National Association of State Liaisons for Workforce Development Partnerships, a workforce development affiliate of the National Governors Association. 

Starghill served as Fichtner’s deputy commissioner at NJDOL Prior to joining NJCCC. She led many of the NJDOL’s program areas including Research and Information, Income Security, and Labor Standards and Safety Enforcement. She previously served as executive director of Workforce Operations and Business Services at NJDOL where she oversaw the day-to-day operations of One-Stop Career Centers and the integrated business outreach of workforce field staff with other workforce partners.  

 Other prominent education leaders named to the 2023 Education Power 50 list include: Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway, Rutgers Medical School Dean Robert Johnson, Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber, New Jersey Institute of Technology President Teik Lim, Rowan University President Ali Houshmand, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University Dean Annette Reboli, Lightbridge Holdings Group CEO Gigi Schweikert, Stevens Institute of Technology President Nariman Farvardin, Middlesex College President Mark McCormick, Union College President Margaret McMenamin, and Hudson County Community College President Chris Reber.