The National Association of Manufacturers forecasts that nearly 2 million manufacturing jobs will remain unfilled in the next decade because of a lack of skilled workers. New Jersey’s 21 county vocational-technical schools offer a wide range of career programs that have direct application to manufacturing industries in New Jersey. These include:
Bergen County – Applied Technology High School
This new program opening in September 2015 will provide students with a unique educational experience through a blend of academic high school curriculum, college classes, and hands-on technical education. With a curriculum that is centered on “smart machines,” students will learn to apply math, science, and technology to hands-on projects in the fields of automation, electronics, and advanced manufacturing. Through this program, students will learn essential skills needed to pursue a career in a wide variety of areas including engineering technology. This training will be coupled with the dual enrollment coursework needed to allow students to earn advanced standing into several, technical associates degree programs at Bergen Community College including an A.A.S. program in General Engineering Technology.
Graduates with a degree in engineering technology will help fill a critical workforce need as they work to install, maintain, and support the increasing number of automated manufacturing systems that are projected to return much of the production that has been outsourced over the past decade back into factories here in the U.S. Graduates from a two or four year program in engineering technology qualify as technicians and seek employment in a variety of sectors including manufacturing, construction, and production design.
Contact: Andrea Sheridan, assistant superintendent, 201-343-6000
Burlington County –Advanced Manufacturing and Fabrication
A partnership with Rowan College of Burlington County at BCIT’s Medford campus, the new Advanced Manufacturing and Fabrication Program includes a general overview of the manufacturing industry and advanced manufacturing processes, as well as specific coursework in CNC, computer assisted design (CAD), machining, and welding, aligned with a rigorous academic program. BCIT high school students take their classes at the Center during the day; in the evenings, adult students receive instruction though a program jointly operated by BCIT and RCBC. Rowan University and industries like Westampton-based Inductotherm are also involved with the program.
Contact: Contact: Dr. Todd Bonsall, assistant superintendent, 609-267-4226
Camden County – Pre-engineering – Industrial Track
The pre-engineering program enables students to experience applied practices in civil, mechanical, computer, environmental, industrial, and electrical engineering. Students use computers, engineering graphics, testing devices and equipment, and math/science principles in a laboratory setting to solve the real-world problems that confront engineers. This program emphasizes problem solving, critical thinking, the development of strong communication skills, and the legal and professional ethics of engineering.
The pre-engineering curriculum focuses on the engineering practices of designing, analyzing and improving new and existing designs as well as teaching design and programming. Third year students have the option to specialize in: 1) Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM), how to design and program on Computer Numeric Control (CNC) devices, Rapid Prototyping, and 3D Rendering, or 2) Digital electronics, automation and Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), or 3) Civil Engineering, Architecture and Computer-Aided Design (CAD).
Contact: Patricia Fitzgerald, superintendent, 856-767-7000
Cape May County
The Cape May County Technical School District addresses manufacturing industry needs through various CTE programs. Welding Technology trains students in the use of the oxy-acetylene process, metal cutting, welding, brazing and soldering, with various types of arc welding. Program completers have the opportunity to attain an American Welding Society (AWS) certification and college credit. We also offer a range of evening arc welding classes for adult skill development through our continuing education division. Growing from this success, we plan to open a new twilight evening post secondary program for adults to gain industry aligned CTE skills and attain additional industry manufacturing certification.
Manufacturing is also infused in our Project Lead The Way Curriculum with the addition of 3-D design and printing, utilizing STEM-based curriculum, along with next year’s planned addition for laser engraving. From boat-building to bridge construction to computer design and development, manufacturing is alive and well in Cape May County.
Contact: Nancy Hudanich, superintendent, (609) 465-2161
Hudson County– D-FAB: Design, Fabrication and Mechatronics
This new program focused on design, fabrication and mechatronics will grow the next generation of technology workers through skill development and flexible degree pathways. With multiple access points and degree/training options for learners from high school through college, the program is being planned and implemented in collaboration with employers such as Eastern Millwork and higher education partners including Hudson County Community College, NJ City University and NJIT. The program will utilize the dual training model employed in Germany, through which students will learn in school and on the job.
Contact: Alyson Krone, assistant principal201-662-6809
Mercer County – STEM Academy
The Mercer County Technical School District launched a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Academy in September 2015, thanks to a $300,000 county vocational partnership grant from the New Jersey Department of Education. A partnership with Mercer County Community College, the STEM Academy provides Mercer County high school students with an academically challenging and rigorous curriculum that includes a strong manufacturing focus. The program incorporates Project Lead The Way, an activity-, project-, and problem-based engineering curriculum that includes computer-integrated manufacturing and electronics, as well as opportunities to earn up to 34 college credits in courses such as computer-assisted design, industrial measurement and machining.
Contact: Ms. Sharon Nemeth, Principal, Assunpink Center, Phone: 609-586-5144
Middlesex County – Pre-Engineering and Manufacturing Technology
Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools recognizes the need for a secondary level advanced manufacturing program in Middlesex County and is committed to opening a Pre-Engineering and Manufacturing Technology career major in September 2015 at the East Brunswick campus. With consultation from business and industry across the county and state, this program will prepare students to apply basic technical skills and basic engineering principles to install, troubleshoot and support the production process for a wide array of automated manufacturing employers.
The Pre-Engineering and Manufacturing Technology program will include instruction on tools, materials, production process, machine operations, automated line operations, technical and quality control, engineering analysis, instrumentation, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), electronics, hydraulics and pneumatics, process control, computer aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and robotics.
Contact: Sean McDonald, supervisor of career and technical education, 732-257-3300
Morris County – Engineering Design and Advanced Manufacturing
The Engineering Design and Advanced Manufacturing (EDAM) program offers high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to take classes in engineering, computer science, electronics and other technology applications to earn 32 college credits before high school graduation. Students enrolled in this program will also earn County College of Morris Certificates of Achievement in Mechanical Computer Aided Drafting and in Engineering Technology.
Located on the campus of the County College of Morris (CCM), this two-year high school program enable students to learn in CCM’s newly remodeled engineering labs to obtain key skills to work in the rapidly expanding field. EDAM program partners include Manufacture NJ Talent Network, New Jersey Business and Industry Association, National Manufacturing Company, Siemens HealthCare and New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program. These partnerships provide students with work-based learning experiences to gain hands-on training and an inside track to employment opportunities upon program completion.
EDAM program completers also have the option of continuing at CCM to earn an associate’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology just one year post high school graduation. Students earning this associate’s degree will be able to transfer to New Jersey Institute of Technology and earn a bachelor’s degree in Engineering Technology or a related field.
Contact: Shari Castelli, assistant superintendent, 973-627-4600 X206
Passaic County – Manufacturing Technology
The manufacturing technology program introduces young minds to the metal fabrications industry. The goal of the course work is to prepare students for entry-level employment in the machining industry or to continue on to post-secondary training. Students work in a state of the art manufacturing training facility. The shop is equipped with a computer lab offering training in MasterCam, and has a production floor equipped with manual lathes, mills, surface grinders, saws and surface grinders. The CNC lab is equipped with state of the art HAAS lathes and mills. Students are encouraged to explore various career opportunities through job shadowing opportunities offered through our School to Careers Department and with the assistance of strong industry partnerships. The program consistently has placed more that 50% of the senior class in cooperative education experiences for the last 4 years. Recently the program has adopted an articulation agreement with Bergen Community College offering 6 credits in Applied Metrology and Machine Tool Principles. Upon completion of this comprehensive program, students are afforded the opportunity to either enter the workforce, continue to post secondary training or a combination of both pathways.
The school also offers manufacturing related programs in welding and pre-engineering.
Contact: Mark Cacace, school to careers coordinator, 973-389-4152
Somerset County – Mechatronics, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (MEAM)
Starting in the 2016-2017 school year, Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School (SCVTHS) will offer a new program for highly motivated high school students interested in Mechatronics, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (MEAM). The program will be offered through a partnership with Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC), as well as local businesses to educate students to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the design, development and operational evaluation of physical systems used in manufacturing and end-product systems used for specific uses. As part of the partnership, RVCC will offer a minimum of 13 college credits for students who successfully complete the program,
Upon graduation from the MEAM program, students will be ready to enter the workforce or pursue further education in highly coveted Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers. Contact: Dr. Chrys Harttraft, superintendent, 908-526-8900
In the works:
Monmouth County two year manufacturing program for high school juniors and seniors in partnership with Festo Didactics in Eatontown.
More info: Contact Judy Savage, NJCCVTs Executive Director
.2 These shortages have considerable business implications and will hold back future economic growth. Increased production costs and revenue losses that result from skills shortages in U.S. manufacturing are costing manufacturers up to 11 percent of earnings annually.3