New Jersey officials are hoping a new bundled program for job training in Gloucester County can be expanded statewide.
Dr. Fred Keating is the President of Rowan College at Gloucester County. He says the goal is for colleges to create certificate and degree programs tailored to the skills businesses need in their workforce.
"We can do it with their guidance, but they must guide us. It's changing every day and in order to keep up with it you need to be doing it with the people who are literally in the field delivering the products, and what they doing, and how they're doing it, and what they want the student to be capable of doing."
The program coordinates high school vocational training, higher education, and work experience so students can build on the credentials needed for the jobs they want.
New Jersey Chamber of Commerce President Tom Bracken says it’s a model that can transform workplace development and help companies expand.
"If this kind of consortium is put in place in New Jersey throughout the entire state, the issue of qualified of workforce will come off the table from the business community. That is an enormous step forward in making the state more competitive."
Senate President Steve Sweeney says he'll introduce legislation to encourage other colleges in the state to establish similar programs.
“This is something that should be replicated everywhere. But sometimes you have to push people to do it, and we’re going to do that, requiring this kind of collaboration between institutions that they work together.”
New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks says the program is visionary and essential to assuring the state is competitive by developing a highly-skilled workforce.