By Assemblyman Patrick J. Diegnan Jr.
I am pleased to report that Governor Christie has signed into law my legislation that will expand opportunities for all students and families to receive information about the educational programs available to them at New Jersey’s county vocational-technical schools. The bill requires local school districts to share mailing list information for middle and high school students with county vocational schools, making it easier for them to reach out to students and inform them of the advantages of a vocational and technical education.
As President Bill Clinton said ‘the best social program is a job’. Here in Middlesex County, 85% of the work-bound vocational school graduates have a job waiting for them upon graduation. In addition, over 50% of graduates of Middlesex County’s vocational-technical schools go on to two- and four-year colleges to continue their career-focused education. I recently had the honor of attending a ceremony at the Perth Amboy Vocational-Technical School, which was recognized as a ‘Blue Ribbon School’ by the US Department of Education. This designation was awarded to 57 of the finest high schools in the nation last year. And the Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies and Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Science were both listed by US News and World Report among the “Best High Schools in America” for 2013.
It is nice to know that these outstanding schools are located in our great county and open to all Middlesex residents at no cost to students or families.
As we approach the end of the school year, I encourage all 7th and 8th graders to consider the benefits of career and technical education. Whether you are going to college or hoping for a job after high school, you should visit one of our county vocational schools, review their website (www.mcvts.net), or attend one of their presentations. In these difficult economic times it is important that all avenues of education are considered. Vocational school isn’t right for every student, but it is a tremendous option.
Diegnan is a Democrat who represents the 18th Legislative District, which includes East Brunswick, Edison, Helmetta, Highland Park, Metuchen, South Plainfield and South River.
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