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Senate President Steve Sweeney on Tuesday toured the Bergen County Technical High School’s Teterboro campus with Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Senator Paul Sarlo, Senator Bob Gordon and Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco to highlight the importance of vocational career programs that develop the skills and knowledge that lead to good-paying jobs.
“Vocational and technical career programs prepare students for the real world and give them the opportunity to develop skills and talents that are employable,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester). “The Bergen County Technical Schools are a shining example — graduating high performing, career-ready students that are prepared to work hard and grow our state’s economy.”
The Teterboro campus of BCTS, one of four locations across Bergen County that serve more than 2,000 students, is ranked 5th in New Jersey and 121st nationwide by U.S. News and World Report. Almost 90 percent of the students partake in the College Board’s “Advanced Placement” curriculum, according to the magazine.
“Bergen County Technical Schools represent the best that Bergen County and New Jersey have to offer. They are a nationally ranked model for vocational and technical education, and their students graduate with the skills they need for successful careers in growing fields,” said Senator Weinberg (D-Teaneck).
“In 1952, Bergen County was the first in New Jersey to establish a full-time vocational education facility,” said County Executive Tedesco. “Today, BCTS is a nationally ranked public high school system graduating students who are both college and career ready, with a diverse array of options that prepare students for further study or immediate employment in growing industries. The average BCTS student takes at least three AP exams, and 36 BCTS students were named National Merit Semifinalists in 2015. In an increasingly competitive global economy, BCTS students graduate ready to take on the world.”
“High-performing vocational and technical schools like BCTS are an extremely important component of our education system,” said Senator Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge). “They provide students with concrete skills that employers need. As a civil engineer and the parent of a BCTS student, I know firsthand just how valuable these schools are.”
“We are fortunate in Bergen County to have a fantastic system of vocational and technical schools, and they prepare our students for careers in good-paying industries. They really do serve as a model,” said Senator Gordon (D-Fair Lawn).
The Bergen County Technical High School’s Teterboro Campus serves over 600 full-time students in grades 9-12, and provides “a challenging, project-driven curriculum in a technology-infused environment.”
By 2020, 65 percent of jobs will require education and training beyond high school, but almost half of these will not require a four-year degree, according to the Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce. New Jersey data from the National Skills Coalition roughly mirrors this trend, predicting that about 52 percent of job openings from 2012-2020 will be in middle-skill areas that require education beyond high school, but not a bachelor’s degree.