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For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Kathryn Forsyth
    Rich Vespucci
    Beth Auerswald

For Immediate Release: February 3, 2009

Department of Education Recognizes Career and Technical Education Month

Thousands of New Jersey students will compete in a variety of contests – from ice sculpting to floral design – during New Jersey’s month-long celebration of career and technical education, Commissioner Lucille E. Davy today announced.

Governor Jon S. Corzine has proclaimed February to be Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month.  It coincides with the Association for Career and Technical Education’s annual celebration of the nation’s CTE programs, students and teachers.

In New Jersey, 170,000 high school and post-secondary students in career and technical education programs will have the opportunity to take part in events designed to highlight the importance of workforce-oriented education and the practical skills students learn.

“New Jersey’s career and technical education programs should be celebrated for providing students myriad opportunities to gain hands-on experience in a chosen career sector and the confidence that often accompanies early exposure to an occupation,” said Commissioner Davy. “These programs allow students to explore careers they are interested in and build valuable skills they will need either to enter the work sector or continue their education in that job field.”

There are more than 2,000 CTE programs in 16 career clusters offered by the state’s 21 county vocational school districts and more than 200 other school districts.  Examples of programs include: acting; cabinet making; computer programming; emergency medical technology; fire science; ornamental horticulture; robotics technology; tourism and travel services management; and urban community and regional planning.

More than 42,000 New Jersey students also participate in seven state career and technical student organizations through membership in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA); the National FFA Association; the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA); DECA, an association for marketing students; the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA); the Technology Student Association; and SkillsUSA.

Below are examples of the types of events taking place in February as part of Career and Technical Education Month. Please contact individual county vocational schools for a full listing of events their students are participating in during the month.

Saturday, Feb. 7
9 to 11:15 a.m., American Welding Society competition, Gloucester County Institute of Technology, 1360 Tanyard Rd., Sewell. Students from Burlington County Institute of Technology; Camden County Technical Schools; Cumberland County Vocational Technical School; Gloucester County Institute of Technology; and Salem County Vocational School will participate in three welding contests. Contact: Suzanne Golt,Camden County Technical Schools, 856-767-7000 ext. 5424.

9:30 a.m., Performing arts demonstration and occupational competitions, Somerset County Vocational and Technical High School, North Bridge Street and Vogt Drive, Bridgewater.Contact: Michael Herrera, assistant principal, Somerset County Vocational High School, 908-526-8900 ext. 7218.  

2:30 p.m., Awards ceremony for Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) regional conference, Salem County Vocational School, 880 Route 45, Woodstown.Workshops will take place from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.Students from the following schools will be participating: Atlantic County Institute of Technology; Burlington County Institute of Technology; Bridgeton High School; Camden County Technical School; Cumberland County Vocational Technical School; Mercer County Technical School; Ocean County Vocational Technical School; Salem County Vocational Technical School. Contact: Antoinette Fugee or Marie Laney, N.J. HOSA, 856-468-6500 ext. 6068.

Wednesday, Feb. 11
6:30 to 8 p.m., Skills competitions and open house, Cumberland County Technical Education Center, 601 Bridgeton Ave., Bridgeton.Ice carving and culinary arts competitions will be among the contests showcasing students in each of the school’s occupational shops. Contact: Bill Shaughnessy, Cumberland Count Technical Education Center, 856-451-9000 ext. 275.

Friday, Feb. 13
9 to 11 a.m., Fourth Annual Transition Fair, Mercer High School, 1030 Old Trenton Rd., Trenton. Students from the special services school district will have the opportunity to interact with potential employers and representatives from various agencies in preparation for life after high school. Invited agencies and employers include the state Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services; Job Corps; the state Motor Vehicle Commission; Mercer County Community College; Mercer County One Stop Career Center; Chick-Fil-A; Lowe’s; Wal-Mart; and Wegmans. Contact: Marge Buttaci, Mercer High School, 609-588-8453 or Liz Walker Flynn, Mercer High School, 609-588-8423.

Thursday, Feb. 19
10 a.m. to noon, FFA Association Advocacy and Legislative Leadership Day, Brower Student Center, The College of New Jersey, 2000 Pennington Rd., Ewing. FFA chapter leaders from throughout the state will have the opportunity to meet and talk with state legislators and other invited guests during the celebration of National FFA Week. Most students will participate in workshops from noon to 2:30 p.m., while a small group of students will tour the State House and N.J. Farm Bureau in Trenton at the same time. Contact: Lynne Richmond, Public Information Office, New Jersey Department of Agriculture, 609-633-2954.

Wednesday, Feb. 25
9 a.m. to noon, Green Tech Expo, Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools. Students at all five campuses will make presentations based on inventions designed to help the environment. Presentations will include models made out of recycled materials; type of inventions will vary among campuses depending on occupation programs. Contact: Dawn Lystad, Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools, 732-257-3300 ext. 1941.

Friday, Feb. 27
10 a.m. to noon, On-site floral design contest, FFA Association Annual Horticultural Exposition, Burlington Center Mall, 2501 Mt. Holly Rd., Burlington. Students from approximately 25 middle and high schools throughout New Jersey will participate in the annual horticultural contest. More than 650 floral and horticultural entries will be on display throughout the mall from Feb. 27 through March 1. Contact: Lynne Richmond, Public Information Office, New Jersey Department of Agriculture, 609-633-2954.

10 a.m., “Iron Chef” culinary competition, Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools, 112 Rues Lane, East Brunswick. Contact: Dawn Lystad, Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools, 732-257-3300 ext. 1941.