New Jersey to partner with state’s 19 community colleges to increase enrollment

Gov. Chris Christie announced Monday a partnership between New Jersey’s 19 community colleges and the state in an effort to increase enrollment and boost the

New Jersey will partner with the state's 19 community colleges in order to increase enrollment.

New Jersey will partner with the state's 19 community colleges in order to increase enrollment. (3/20/17)

BRANCHBURG - Gov. Chris Christie announced Monday a partnership between New Jersey’s 19 community colleges and the state in an effort to increase enrollment and boost the state’s economic growth.

“The pace that education is taking in this new century is something that if we don’t hustle to keep up with, we’re going to fall behind,” Christie said while visiting Raritan Valley Community College to announce the partnership.

The new initiative will focus on career guidance, new career-based areas of study and partnerships with employers.

The initiative is being called “65 by ‘25” because it seeks to increase the percentage of New Jersey residents with a higher education degree from the current 52 percent to 65 percent by 2025.

“If we're going to be competitive as a state then we need to continue to be the most highly competitive workforce in the world,” says New Jersey Labor Commissioner Aaron Fichtner.

Raritan Valley President Mike McDonough says that community colleges have the potential to take the lead in a number of growing friends, such as advanced manufacturing, green technology and cybersecurity.

“We’re seeing manufacturing come back to New Jersey,” McDonough says. “But it’s not your grandfather’s manufacturing. This is computer controlled, you’ve got to have some real skillsets.”

The state will also help people get into new career paths via its one-stop career centers throughout the state.

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