PISCATAWAY — After enjoying a gourmet meal prepared by students, more than 250 members of the advisory committees of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools got down to business at meetings of two dozen advisory panels.
The appreciation dinner and committee meetings were held April 25 on the MCVTS Piscataway campus. Advisory committee members, representing business, industry, labor and higher education, were welcomed by MCVTS board president John F. Bicsko Jr., superintendent of schools Brian J. Loughlin and Todd G. Bonsall, director of career and technical education.
Bonsall stressed that the district relies on the “close cooperation of local and regional employers” for input in designing, developing and implementing its highly specialized career and technical programs.
“This is essential to the initiation of new and creative technical programs,” he said. “It allows us to respond to employment demands and economic trends.”
“Your input is more important than ever,” Loughlin told the committee members, noting that some of them have been volunteering their advice for decades, while others were new to the advisory panels. He said the district was putting more rigorous academic standards in place to make students both “college and career ready.”
Among those in attendance was Ronald G. Rios, deputy director of the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and Stanley Baguchinsky, the newest member of the vocational and technical school board of education.
Bicsko presented the district’s annual Business Partnership Recognition Award to Darlene Yoseloff, director of the Office of School Relations at Middlesex County College, who was cited for her work in helping to make college-level courses available to MCVTS students.
The advisory committees range from “agriscience technology” to “welding.” At the meetings, MCVTS staff and faculty members heard advice about computer-aided drafting and sustainability education from architecture professionals and a recommendation that cosmetology students work on their “people skills” as well as their technical proficiency.
“It’s very good to have interaction with the people on the academic side,” said Michael McLaughlin of New Brunswick Local 456 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, a member of the electrical technology advisory committee.
The menu for the dinner, prepared by students in the culinary arts and baking program in Piscataway, included stuffed Cornish hen, beef tenderloin, seasonal vegetable pasta and roasted red potatoes. The evening began with hors d’oeuvres served by students and ended with cakes and pastries baked at the school.
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