Business partners honored by N.J.’s vocational-technical school districts

From a catering hall in the hills of Sussex to a busy hospital in Cape May, New Jersey’s county vocational-technical schools are recognizing their business partners for outstanding contributions to career and technical education.

The 21 employers receiving the 2020 Business Partnership Awards serve on county vocational-technical school program advisory boards, offer opportunities for students to gain valuable work experience, donate equipment or serve as mentors and role models for students.

Scott Moffitt, the president of the New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools and the superintendent of the Morris County Vocational School District, said it was a way to acknowledge the impact these businesses are having on the students.

Warren County Technical School honored Miguel Rosario, owner of Pburg Auto Repair and a graduate of the school. (Courtesy photo)

“The active involvement of businesses and employers in our community is critical to our mission of providing industry-relevant career and technical education,” he said.

County vocational-technical school districts have been honoring business partners in their respective counties since 2001. The annual awards are presented to business partners by the individual county vocational-technical school districts during the month of December.

“These employers understand the crucial need to develop a technically trained workforce for their industries and New Jersey’s economic future,” Moffitt said. “That’s why they invest time and energy into helping our county vocational-technical schools develop strong career and technical education programs for our students. This is really a win-win for everyone involved.”

Two honorees, Miguel Rosario and Eric M. Krise, are graduates of the schools that are honoring them, Warren County Tech and Salem County Vo-Tech, respectively.

Here’s a look at the 2020 honorees:

  • Atlantic County Institute of Technology: Dave Robbins, senior vice president of South Jersey Industries, for helping students explore careers in the utility industry.
  • Bergen County Technical Schools: Charles Willis of Jaguar Land Rover of North America in Mahwah, for supporting the district’s automotive technology program.
  • Burlington County Institute of Technology: Hutchinson Plumbing Heating Cooling and Energy Services in Cherry Hill, for supporting the district’s HVAC and plumbing programs.
  • Camden County Technical Schools: Jill Townsend, the owner of Square One Inc. in Mount Laurel, for mentoring graphic design students and advising on curriculum.
  • Cape May County Vocational-Technical School District: Shore Medical Center in Somers Point, for providing clinical opportunities for practical nursing students.
  • Cumberland County Technical Education Center: Rossi Honda in Vineland, for offering extensive work-based learning opportunities to students.
  • Essex County Schools of Technology: Marsha Armstrong, a youth program director at NewarkWorks/Newark One Stop Career Center, for supporting culinary students with employment opportunities.
  • Gloucester County Institute of Technology: Michael Woodward, owner of Mountainside Mechanical in Williamstown, for supporting the district’s electrical trades program and students.
  • Hudson County Schools of Technology: RSC Architects of Hackensack, for supporting the district’s architecture and engineering program.
  • Hunterdon County Vocational School District: Dr. Nicholas Avallone of St. Luke’s Orthopedic Care, for supporting the district’s Biomedical Sciences Academy.
  • Mercer County Technical Schools: Debbie Schaeffer, the owner of Mrs. G’s Appliances in Lawrence, for hiring students from many different career programs
  • Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools: Michael Dooley, director of fixed operations at Dayton Toyota in South Brunswick, for hiring students and supporting automotive technology programs.
  • Monmouth County Vocational School District: Danny Pepe, general manager and partner of Good Sports USA, for providing internships to students.
  • Morris County Vocational School District: Meghan Hunscher, CEO and president of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce.
  • Ocean County Vocational Technical School: Vincent Zenna, owner of Experior Electric in Toms River, for employing cooperative education students and electrical program graduates.
  • Passaic County Technical Vocational Schools: Paramus-based Worldwide Logistics Group, for supporting PCTI’s logistics program.
  • Salem County Vocational Technical School: Eric M. Krise, owner of Eric M. Krise Electrical Contractors LLC in Elmer, a graduate of the school.
  • Somerset County Vocational-Technical Schools: Anthony Bianciella, a professional photographer and business owner, for assisting theater students with their professional portfolios.
  • Sussex County Technical High School: Perona Farms in Andover, for offering educational and employment opportunities to students.
  • Union County Vocational-Technical Schools: HOPES CAP Inc. in Plainfield, for giving education students opportunities to work with their preschoolers.
  • Warren County Technical School: Miguel Rosario, owner of Pburg Auto Repair in Phillipsburg. Rosario is a 2009 graduate of the school.