$17M Grant to Som. Cty. VoTech to Expand Career and Technical EducationPosted on June 3, 2021
Award Will Fund a New Building, Creating or Expanding 8 Programs Serving 520 Additional Students Beginning in 2024
The Somerset County Vocational and Technical High School (VoTech) was selected by Governor Phil Murphy to receive a $17.25 million grant to expand career and technical educational (CTE) programs for Somerset County high school students. The Somerset County Board of Commissioners guaranteed a twenty-five percent match at their February 9, 2021 meeting, bringing the funding for the program to approximately $23 million.
“With the economy and labor market changing so quickly, we have to look at new and innovative educational programs to ensure our young people are ready to take advantage of high-skill, high-wage careers with Somerset County employers,” said Commissioner Doug Singleterry, liaison to the Somerset County VoTech. “The combined New Jersey and Somerset County investment guarantees that we will be ready and flexible to serve our students and our employers for the next 50 to 100 years.”
The combined funding of $23 million will be used to construct a new state-of-the-art facility dedicated to CTE on the current Bridgewater campus, and support an increased enrollment of at least 520 students per year expected beginning the Fall of 2024. The new and expanded programs will be in eight industry clusters: Construction and Architecture; Life Sciences; Technology; Finance; transportation/Distribution; Health Care; Leisure/Hospitality; and Manufacturing.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity for the County to secure State funding specifically for career and technical education focused on future high-demand and high-wage occupations,” said Dr. Chrys Harttraft, Superintendent of the Somerset County VoTech. “This funding, and the new building and programs it makes possible, will transform the education we provide to our students to be flexible and comprehensive enough to ensure Somerset County is an economic driver for the region and the state.”
The Securing Our Children’s Future Act was passed by public referendum in 2018 and provides $500 million in total infrastructure funding for New Jersey’s vocational and technical schools as well as certain other infrastructure projects. The granting process for allocating the funds was highly competitive, and there were more funding requests than there are funds to distribute.