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    Richard Vespucci
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For Release: July 16, 2009


New Jersey Selected as One of Five States to Participate
In Federal Technical Assistance Academy to Develop ‘Green’ CTE Program

Commissioner of Education Lucille E. Davy today announced that New Jersey has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education to participate along with four other states in a technical assistance academy to develop a “green” program of study for career and technical education (CTE).

Partnering with the N.J. Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools (NJCCVTS), the state Department of Education applied for the technical assistance program to help with current efforts to develop a statewide program of study for emerging careers that have an environmental or renewable energy focus.  The federal program will provide 10 days of expert consultation and a facilitator for ongoing assistance.

Programs of study are designed to provide students with a clear connection between high school and postsecondary education for a particular career concentration.  The programs utilize a rigorous curriculum of both technical and academic content and lead to a postsecondary industry credential or college degree.

“We are very proud that New Jersey has been selected as one of only five states to participate in this very innovative program,” said Governor Jon S. Corzine.  “It will be part of our overall effort to ensure that New Jersey workers get good jobs in the new green economy.”

“New Jersey students will benefit greatly from a statewide green program of study and the expertise offered by the federal technical assistance initiative,” said Commissioner Davy.  “This effort will result in high-quality, innovative programs at our career and technical schools and will also save districts time and resources since they will not have to build their own programs.”

The green program of study marks the first time a career and technical education program will be developed on a statewide level with the potential to customize the delivery at each of the 21 county vocational-technical schools or comprehensive high schools.  CTE programs traditionally are created by individual school districts in consultation with program-specific local advisory committees and approved by DOE’s Office of Career and Technical Education.

The initiative will coincide with a concerted effort in the state to shift existing CTE programs to programs of study, which involve a significant expenditure of time, the realignment of curriculum, the integration of academics and the development of partnerships within the community.

The 14-month technical assistance program will advance the state’s examination of which “green” jobs will emerge in New Jersey and new training avenues, as well as provide a “green- ready” assessment for traditional careers that may require an additional layer of training to be “green-ready.”

Once the federal program has been completed, DOE anticipates having a program of study model available for adaptation by any county vocational-technical school or comprehensive high school to meet local and regional workforce needs.  The program of study’s curriculum will be aligned with the state Core Curriculum Content Standards for CTE, which were adopted on June 17 by the State Board of Education.

The green program will also implement major components of Governor Corzine’s and DOE’s secondary education transformation initiative, which is designed to better prepare students to be career and college-ready. The CTE initiative also will integrate parts of Governor Corzine’s Energy Master Plan and his Economic Assistance and Recovery Plan, both of which call for investments in “green” jobs.

The statewide program will be built by the NJCCVTS-developed Green Collar Careers Advisory Committee, which includes representatives from secondary and post-secondary education, business, state and county government, utilities and trade unions. Several members of the advisory committee will serve on the N.J. Technical Assistance Academy Team for the federal project.

Essex County Vocational-Technical Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Pennella will serve as team leader.  He also is the chair of the Green Collar Jobs Advisory Committee.

“New Jersey must develop the next generation of innovators who will identify new renewable energy solutions and prepare young people to fill a wide range of jobs in green-focused industries,” said Dr. Pennella. “County vocational-technical school leaders welcome this opportunity to collaborate with partners from industry, higher education and state government to develop a program of study that will get students thinking ‘green,’ and equip them with the academic, technical and workplace skills needed to meet this challenge.”

This winter, the state’s team will take part in a three-day technical assistance workshop in Washington, D.C. The team will also work with the USDOE’s National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, which is sponsoring the technical assistance initiative, to share best practices for implementing programs of study once the initiative is over.

Other N.J. Technical Assistance Academy Team members include:

  • Marie Barry, director, DOE’s Office of Career and Technical Education;
  • Peter Ielmini, apprenticeship chair, N.J. Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO;
  • Jason Kilwinski, director of sustainable design, Speizle Architectural Group;
  • Dr. Brian McAndrew, superintendent, Monmouth County Vocational School District and past president of the N.J. Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools;
  • Judy Savage, executive director, NJCCVTS;
  • Rosa Schmidt, workforce planning and outreach manager, PSEG;
  • John Steiner, associate dean of academic affairs, Salem County College;
  • Jeffrey Stoller, John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Rutgers University;
  • Randy Trivette, manager, DOE’s Office of Career and Technical Education;
  • Shelly Witham, environmental science teacher, High Tech High School, Hudson County Vocational School District.

Full membership of the Green Collar Careers Advisory Committee can be found at: http://www.njccvts.org/green%20collar%20members%20list.pdf