The COVID-19 virus is having a significant impact on all New Jersey residents, on our economy, and on our state. Now is the time for Industry Leaders to join with the critical partner that is the proven bridge to industry-valued credentials and degrees, cost efficient pathways to four-year colleges and universities, and workforce development skills leading to family-supporting jobs and careers for all New Jerseyans—New Jersey’s Community Colleges.
We live in an increasingly global, connected, and digital world and New Jersey’s community colleges are instrumental in helping students and residents prepare and thrive in this fast-changing reality. Our colleges demonstrate a singular focus and passion to provide accessible and affordable excellence. New Jersey’s Community Colleges are instrumental in creating a stronger and fairer economy.
At this critical moment in our history, New Jersey must find new solutions to the myriad of challenges that confront our state while seizing opportunities to create a more resilient and equitable society and economy. With over 1 million residents unemployed, a rapidly changing economy and labor market, and systemic racial injustice and inequality, the time for action, innovation and transformation is now.
We are prepared to lead an unprecedented collaborative effort of the state’s Industry Leaders to develop a policy agenda, take innovative action and transform the state’s strategic approach to:
- Expanding access to high quality post-secondary programs for the state’s most vulnerable residents;
- Preparing students to succeed in four-year institutions;
- Training residents in accelerated, industry-valued, and stackable workforce training programs to meet labor market demands; and
- Supporting economic development and civic engagement.
Our efforts will position New Jersey to recover from this public health and economic crisis by building a skilled workforce that can adapt to the changing economy, by assisting the more than one million residents who have lost their jobs and careers, by reducing the cost of higher education for parents and students, by providing adults the opportunity to obtain new skills and careers, and by building strong industry-driven education and training pathways that will be the foundation of the state’s economy for years to come.