Harvard University’s ‘Project on Workforce’ invites community college-led New Jersey leadership team to focus on workforce development
July 1, 2022, Trenton, NJ, and Cambridge, MA – New Jersey Community Colleges are honored to be included by Harvard University for its “Workforce Project” and recognized for the New Jersey Statewide Pathways to Career Opportunities initiative. Jersey. New Jersey was among six states invited to participate in a virtual meeting hosted by Harvard University earlier this week. New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) President Aaron Fichtner, PhD., and NJCCC’s New Jersey Community College Consortium of Workforce and Economic Development Senior Director, Strategy and Partnerships, Catherine Fruge’ Starghill, Esq. among the eight members of “Team New Jersey” during the event. They highlighted the successes of New Jersey’s Pathways to Career Opportunities initiative, led by New Jersey Community Colleges and the New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA), and funded by the state.
“We were honored to share details nationally about New Jersey’s Pathways to Career Opportunities initiative. We believe our approach of breaking down silos to create a statewide, industry-connected education ecosystem is necessary to produce a highly skilled and innovative workforce,” Starghill said.
Fichtner added, “Our Pathways initiative aligns education to create an innovative workforce. Our hard work resonates throughout New Jersey with over 1,000 industry and education partners since we hosted our initiative kick-off event in December 2021. We loved sharing details about how we are focusing this work on four key in-demand industries and are excited to be a model for other states.
New Jersey Pathways to Career Opportunities The initiative is an unprecedented collaborative effort to meet the rapidly changing needs of employers. Businesses, Industry Associations, Chambers of Commerce, Labor Unions, Workforce Development Councils, State Government, Community Organizations, Adult Literacy Training Providers, Districts Vocational technical schools, private vocational schools, 4-year colleges and universities come together to provide students and workers with the career paths they need.
The Pathways Initiative, with a mission to align education to create an innovative workforce, is comprised of four industry collaborations that are inclusive statewide groups of industry leaders and educational partners across the state focused on the four key industries of the state economy: (1) Health Services, (2) Infrastructure and Energy, (3) Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management , and (4) Technology and innovation. The Pathways initiative will expand economic mobility for students and adult learners and stimulate economic growth for employers across the state. Within these four industry collaborations are ten Workforce Innovation Centers, which are made possible by more than 1,000 partners.
from Harvard University “Workforce Project” launched an initiative with two goals: first, to better understand how some community colleges are prioritizing their institution-wide workforce mission and positioning themselves as key players in their region’s economic development ecosystem ; and second, to help spread the lessons of these colleges to leaders in other states. Using quantitative and qualitative indicators, the Project on Workforce identified five exemplary community colleges – Pima, NOVA, Lorain, San Jacinto, and Mississippi Gulf Coast – and recruited five Harvard graduate students to develop detailed cases documenting the internal policies and practices that allow these institutions to serve their students and regional industry partners so effectively. “Project on Workforce” then recruited leaders from six states – California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New Jersey – interested in helping their community colleges strengthen their focus on workforce development and organized a virtual meeting on June 28, 2022, to share lessons within the group.
About the New Jersey Council of County Colleges
The New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) was established in 1989 to support and promote New Jersey’s 18 community colleges which now enroll more than 300,000 people each year in credit, non-credit, and workforce development courses. working at more than 70 campuses across the state. More than 200,000 students — more than half of all undergraduate students at public colleges and universities in the state — are enrolled in New Jersey’s community colleges. Community colleges also enroll nearly 100,000 students in non-credit programs and partner with thousands of businesses to meet their training and workforce needs.
The primary goal of New Jersey’s 18 community colleges is to meet the ever-changing educational needs of residents of our great state. Today, with more than 1,700 degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit courses and customized workforce training programs, New Jersey community colleges help more students than ever. Additionally, equity and access priorities are advancing every day, with more than half of total undergraduate enrollment at New Jersey community colleges coming from minority and traditionally underrepresented populations.
To learn more about NJCCC and New Jersey’s community colleges, visit www.njccc.org. Follow us @NJCommColleges on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to learn about our latest programs and initiatives.
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