The Morris County commissioners — in moves that aim to create and build the workforce of the future — announced major expansions of programs at both Morris County Vocational School and the County College of Morris.
Here is what’s happening:
- The Morris County Vocational School: It will expand by 30% with the creation of a new Career Technical Education Center, which will be built at CCM. The center will add 500 students to the Morris County Vocational School District enrollment, exposing career-focused and college-bound high school students to the type of specialized skills that will lead them to successful futures;
- County College of Morris: It will open a new Entrepreneurship and Culinary Science Center, where students will benefit from working with an “Entrepreneur in Residence” who will mentor students, foster internships and assist with developing pathways for employment. The new programs include business degree options focused on entrepreneurship and certificates in hospitality management and event planning, inventory management, logistics and supply chain management.
Both projects have a proposed opening date of 2024 and are designed to provide leading-edge career and educational programs for students and adults.
Funding for the projects is being provided by Morris County and the state Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act.
The Career Technical Education Center will cost $24.8 million, with $6.2 million from the county and $18.6 million from state. The CCM Entrepreneurship and Culinary Science Center will cost $5.3 million, with $1.3 million from the county and $4 million from the state.
Morris County Commissioner Director Stephen Shaw said the projects help the county look forward.
“Morris County is positioned as the leader in programs preparing high school students for rewarding careers in 10 high-demand industries, including health care, finance, technology, manufacturing, renewable energy and supply chain logistics,” he said. “The expansion at CCM focuses on business entrepreneurship, hospitality and logistics, and it complements the recently added manufacturing/engineering and music technology buildings.”
MCVSD officials said they developed plans for the Career Technical Education Center based on what educational skills and training were in demand in Morris County and northern New Jersey, and by working closely with private-sector partners.
“One of our greatest frustrations has been turning away capable students from training in a chosen career pathway due to space limitations,” MCVSD Superintendent Scott Moffitt said. “This Career Technical Education Center will afford us an opportunity to expand our program offerings to a larger and more diverse group of high school juniors and seniors.
“The collaboration between Morris County Vocational School District and CCM creates a ‘career pathway on-ramp’ for students at an age where occupation and employment become a greater focus for both students and their parents alike.”
The MCVSD expansion will operate on a share-time model for high school juniors and seniors. It will focus on workforce development and offer students industry credentials, work-based and project-based learning opportunities and up to 18 college credits. The project expands on the existing, strong partnership the school district has with CCM to provide high school students the opportunity to earn college credits, industry-valued credentials and access to an associate degree, either upon high school completion or one year after graduation.
CCM President Tony Iacono said plans for the Entrepreneurship and Culinary Science Center were developed by CCM in response to Morris County business and community leaders looking to accelerate entrepreneurial growth in the area.
“As the community’s college, the mission of CCM is to assist with the growth of the region and to provide people with opportunities to realize their dreams for a better future,” he said. “This center builds upon our already-successful programs and strong partnerships with business and industry, so more individuals can gain a pathway to a rewarding life for themselves, their families and communities.”
Additionally, the center will allow CCM and MCVSD to develop a dual-enrolled program for high school students interested in earning college credits toward a business degree.
Morris County Chamber of Commerce President Meghan Hunscher said both projects will have great impact.
“These two facilities will help lay the foundation for continued economic growth in the county on three fronts,” she said. “The CTEC will prepare students for future careers in focused growth sectors needing workers. Meanwhile the ECSC will provide young entrepreneurs with the training and mentoring they need to found the new businesses that are essential to driving economic growth.
“In addition, the center will provide essential support to many midcareer professionals and baby boomers seeking new opportunities and resources to follow through on new business ideas.”