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Today’s jobs are vastly different from those in the past, and New Jersey’s Vocational-Technical schools want businesses to know they are up to the challenge of training high school students to do them.

In an op-ed published by, Judy Savage, executive director of the New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools, said vocational-technical schools would be expanding in the near future to meet businesses’ demand for skilled workers.

“County vocational schools have been preparing students, as well as adults, for in-demand jobs for years,” Savage writes. “But the jobs have changed with our technology-driven times and have evolved into a new brand of career and technical education.

“Yesterday’s vocational schools trained a small segment of students for careers as plumbers, electricians, welders, carpenters, chefs, cosmetologists and auto mechanics,” she states. “While today’s vocational schools still train students for these critical jobs, they also offer dozens of in-demand career programs in advanced manufacturing, health care, biomedical sciences, digital media, computer science, engineering and finance that many people don’t associate with vocational schools.”

NJBIA has a long-standing relationship with vocational-technical districts to foster partnerships between businesses and schools to ensure lessons include hands-on experience and are teaching the skills that businesses will need employees to have in the future.

That’s why NJBIA supported the 2018 bond issue that will allow county vocational-technical schools to expand to meet the incredible demand for their courses. As Savage noted, vocational-technical schools in New Jersey were forced to turn away almost 17,000 applicants in 2017 because classes were already at capacity.

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