Camden County Tech groundbreaking
Higher Ed

Groundbreaking Held for $14M Expansion at Camden County Tech

Camden County Technical School (CCTS) in Pennsauken last week to broke ground on an approximately $14 million expansion of its renowned culinary program.

The expansion of both the Pennsauken and Gloucester Township campuses includes a $24 million investment into critical classroom space to train a 21st century workforce.

“The mission of our technical schools is vital to workforce development in Camden County, so we can have a strong foundation of employees in a variety of fields,” said Ed McDonnell, Camden County Commissioner deputy director. “With this funding, CCTS will be able to continue its outstanding curriculum, from robotics to culinary education, while also expanding its technical education programming and career opportunities. This grant money will greatly benefit the students and employers across the county, and we’re excited for the future at CCTS.”

For the Pennsauken campus the renovation will add a total of 20,991-square-feet to the building that will house culinary career labs on two floors along with two theory/instructional classrooms and an instructional support/service simulation kitchen for front-of-house instructional practices. The addition will also allow for the installation of an elevator connecting the ground floor to the mezzanine level.

“These expansions are going play a huge role in helping our students and prospective students, be as prepared for the work force as they can be, come graduation, “said Commissioner Jon Young. “These projects will enhance the learning environment for CCTS students, giving them top-quality, hands-on experience, they can take them in their future careers. Whether its culinary arts, manufacturing, engineering and beyond, the students that come through CCTS will receive the best possible education and that’s thanks in large part, to our leaders at the state and county level seeing the value in these programs and investing in them.”

In July 2021, Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation to award $220 million in grants to expand career and technical education at 15 New Jersey county vocational-technical school districts. This funding, which New Jersey voters approved in November 2018 by passing the Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act, will help districts like CCTS take major steps forward to meet both student and employer demands for career and technical education programming across the state. In order for districts to pursue grant funding from the state, they needed to secure a 25% match from their counties, which the Camden County Board of Commissioners happily supported.

Congressman Donald Norcross talked about the impact of these new investments into both campuses and the effect it will have on students.

“As a proud graduate of New Jersey public schools, I’m excited to see Camden County and the state investing in critical workforce development programs that empower local students to be career-ready on Day One,” said Congressman Norcross, an electrician by trade. “The new facilities will increase opportunity for our kids and equip them with the technical skills they need to succeed anywhere from the professional kitchen to the robotics lab. Camden County Technical Schools play a critical role in our education system, and I’m going to keep fighting in Congress to bring additional funding for school construction and workforce development programs to South Jersey.”

The expansion at the Pennsauken Campus will open new seats for 80 Culinary Arts students over four years and will allow the additional enrollment of 20 students in other career and technical programs. By the end of the fourth school year following project’s completion, the school will be able to accommodate 100 more students, increasing enrollment by 14%.

In addition to the Pennsauken campus, the Gloucester Township Campus was awarded $5.25 million to create a new career program based around manufacturing engineering technology (MET). The project will add an additional 19,206-square-feet to Building 6 which will house the new career program, a MET Career Lab, a MET Design Theory Lab, three career and technical education (CTE) related Theory/Instructional rooms, a MET Simulation Lab, a MET Physical Science Lab, as well as a large group instruction area and related support spaces.

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