Somerset County provides $3M grant to RVCC to create ‘best-in-class’ advanced manufacturing programs

File photo Advanced manufacturing is a new program in vocational schools today.

The Somerset County Board of Commissioners on Friday said it allocated $3 million in American Rescue Plan funding to Raritan Valley Community College to expand workforce development training to help students secure next-generation technological employment.

The funding will help RVCC continue its leadership in advanced manufacturing and workforce innovation in the Garden State and support the county’s vibrant high-tech industries.

“Somerset County and RVCC are committed to ensuring that every resident has the educational and training opportunities to get the good jobs of the future, and that employers know that they will find the best workforce in the world right here in Somerset County,” Commissioner Deputy Director Doug Singleterry said. “This grant is a continuation of our partnership with RVCC engaging leading high-tech employers to identify their visions for the future and working to ensure Somerset County is poised to make those visions a reality.”

RVCC has spent the past five years building relationships and partnerships with leading employers to identify current and future workforce requirements and developed certification and degree programs to meet many of these needs. The success of this program has made the need for expansion and future vision abundantly clear, and the college approached Somerset County with a proposal for expanding the Workforce Training Center, which led to this funding.

“Somerset County’s support for RVCC’s students and the Workforce Training Center is extraordinary, and we are excited to align these efforts with the county’s economic development vision,” RVCC President Michael McDonough said at a Somerset County board of commissioners meeting. “Your generosity will allow us to build a best-in-class center for biomanufacturing right here at RVCC to support the growing need for aseptic manufacturing vital to vaccine, medicine and medical device development.”

The $3 million allocation will expand the WTC from 44,000 to 66,000 square feet and include the state’s first community college clean room. The WTC will also add classrooms, build electric vehicle automotive and mechatronics spaces, and double advanced manufacturing programs supporting area high school students.

The additional space will enable RVCC to expand and develop degrees and credentials for students at all levels, including high school students, traditional and non-traditional college students, under- and unemployed adults, career changers and underrepresented communities.