NJBIA Calls Career-Tech Education Bills a Win for Business and Students

Businesses and students alike will reap long-term benefits that will ultimately help New Jersey’s economy thanks to final legislative approval today of five bills improving the state’s career and technical education system.

According to the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), the legislation approved by the Senate would help make students more employable in the modern workplace and provide them with multiple career pathways.  The measures now head to Governor Christie.

“Businesses have job openings that go unfilled because the job applicants do not have the skills needed to fill those positions,” said Andrew Musick, NJBIA’s director, policy and research.  “This legislation will give more students access to quality career and technical education programs, ensuring that employers have a pipeline of skilled workers for the foreseeable future.”

“The nature of the global economy makes career and technical skills more valuable than ever,” Musick said.  “The proposals contained in these bills will help more students gain the skills needed to launch a successful career.”

Musick noted that education is becoming an increasingly important business issue.  According to recent surveys of NJBIA’s member companies, there is widespread dissatisfaction in the qualifications of entry-level workers, to the point where nearly 75 percent reported that the lack of skilled workers has made it difficult to maintain production levels.

The bills voted on today were:

·         S-2224/A-3334, which would require the New Jersey School Report Card to include indicators of student career readiness;

·         S-2225/A-3335, which would require preparation programs for teachers and school counselors to include coursework to support improved student career readiness;

·         S-2226/A-3338,which would allow school districts and requires public colleges to enter into dual enrollment agreements to provide college-level instruction to high school students through courses offered on a college or high school campus;

·          S-2227/A-3339, which would provide that if a career and technical education program of a county vocational school district is taught in an industry setting, the off-site location will be exempt from certain state regulations; and

·         S-2228/A-3337, which would establish a four-year County Vocational School District Partnership Grant Program in the NJ Department of Education.

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