New Jersey has a critical skills gap that is leaving good-paying jobs unfilled, while the growing demand for career and technical education far exceeds space available for interested students.
But we now have a great opportunity to help bridge that disconnect.
The "Securing Our Children's Future Bond Act" will provide $350 million for much-needed expansion of career and technical shops, labs and classrooms at county vocational-technical schools, as well as enhanced security at New Jersey schools. Another $50 million will go toward career and technical education projects at county colleges. The New Jersey Business & Industry Association supports approval of this referendum and is urging the public to vote "Yes" on Public Question No. 1 on Nov. 6.
Why is this capital investment so important?
In New Jersey, manufacturers are telling us there are more than 30,000 unfilled technical jobs.
These are good-paying, career-oriented jobs that are left vacant because the state lacks a technically trained workforce. This lack of availability of skilled workers holds back our economy. If we bring greater investment to our county vocational schools and colleges, we will be able to prepare more young people with the skills, certifications and degrees they need to fill these critical jobs.
Read the rest of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association President and CEO Michele Siekerka's op-ed at NJ.com.