Workforce Development

Highlighting the Value of Career and Technical Education

The New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools (NJCCVTS) released a fact sheet highlighting the value of career and technical education (CTE) across the state’s county vocational-technical school districts. Its distribution coincides with CTE Month in February, which was established to raise awareness of the importance of CTE programs for students of all ages.

“In partnership with all 21 New Jersey county vocational-technical schools, we aim to educate not just students and their families, but audiences across the state, about the realities of modern-day career and technical education,” said NJCCVTS Executive Director Jackie Burke. “Career-focused programs are for students who want to begin working toward their college and career goals to get a head start on preparing for successful futures. These programs help keep students engaged and focused on reaching those goals.”

Burke said these key points – student engagement and a purposeful head start – are reflected in fact sheet data points, including:

  • A higher graduation rate for county vocational-technical schools (99%) than the statewide rate (91%)
  • A large percentage (77%) of Class of 2022 graduates going on to college or post-secondary training, including apprenticeships
  • More than 4,500 students earning industry-valued credentials
  • A record-setting 250 members of the Class of 2023 graduating with an associate degree in addition to a high school diploma
  • More than 10,000 county vocational-technical school students enrolled in classes offering college credit
  • A commitment by county vocational-technical schools to continue expanding post-secondary agreements, with 216 currently in place at 56 institutions including every county college

The connections between the CTE programs and New Jersey employers also tell the story of the important pipelines created between the two to help keep talent in the state and fill important labor demands:

  • County-based CTE programs involve nearly 4,000 professionals as advisors who connect with students and offer guidance on curriculum and classroom technology and training equipment
  • Nearly 2,000 partnerships between the county vocational-technical schools and employers support learning in the workplace and present opportunities for internships, apprenticeships and employment
  • More than 12,000 county vocational-technical school students participate in work-based learning

County vocational-technical schools are constantly growing with new career programs and seats for students to accommodate growing demand for the modern CTE experience. The schools are projected to add 4,500 seats by 2025 as well as new and expanded programs in growing industries, such as advanced manufacturing, health and biotechnology and supply chain/logistics.

“Those of us in county vocational-technical schools see firsthand how career-focused programs are critical for meeting the needs of so many New Jersey students,” said Dr. James Pedersen, superintendent of Essex County Schools of Technology and president of NJCCVTS. “We take great pride in seeing students find their passion and a pathway to pursue it. That is important not only for their success, but the success of our local and state economies. CTE Month is a time to celebrate that and continue to work together to give our students these meaningful educational experiences.”

To access the full fact sheet, please visit

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