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For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
Richard Vespucci
Kathryn Forsyth, Director

For Release: February 14, 2005

New Jersey’s Vocational Education Community
Prepares to Observe Vocational-Technical Education Week

Representatives of all seven of New Jersey’s vocational student organizations are preparing to tour the State House and meet key leaders of government and education tomorrow, February 15. The visit coincides with the state’s observance of Vocational-Technical Education Week, which began on Sunday, February 13.

"New Jersey’s vocational schools are among the most dynamic, innovative high schools in the state today," said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. "Students who might not have considered voc ed in the past are being attracted to the specialized programs in a wide variety of technologies and trades, and the hands-on opportunities coupled with the business education that they know they need to succeed."

Commissioner of Education William L. Librera echoed Codey’s praise and added his support of the men and women who advise the 36,000 New Jersey students who belong to one of the seven vocational student organizations. "These organizations give students many opportunities to develop leadership traits and teamwork skills, in addition to the technical instruction they receive," Dr. Librera said.

Assemblyman Joe Malone, a vocational educator, will host the tour of the State House. The students also will visit the offices of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Develop and the New Jersey AFL-CIO to learn more about the services they provide their constituents.

Vocational education serves more than 148,000 New Jersey students, who are gaining school- and work-based learning experiences in fields such as science, business and technology, agriculture, health, consumer science and the manufacturing and service industries. Approximately one-fourth of the students belong to one of the following vocational student organizations: Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA); National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Organization; Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA); Distributive Educational Clubs of America (DECA); Technology Students Association (TSA); Skills USA-VICA; and Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA).

Student leaders of these organizations are expected to gather to celebrate the week with Leadership Council activities. The Leadership Council was formed by the Department of Education in 2001 to give students opportunities to discuss together how they can promote vocational education and enhance student leadership and skill development.

Please contact your schools for information about local observances of Vocational-Technical Education Week.