The Hunterdon County Vocational School District received $3.75 million from the state’s second round of Vocational and Technical Education Expansion Grants to add an electrical technology program

The Hunterdon County Vocational School District received $3.75 million from the state’s second round of Vocational and Technical Education Expansion Grants to add an electrical technology program

Flemington, New Jersey – About a year after the Hunterdon County Vocational School District received a $15 million Career and Technical Education (CTE) Expansion Grant, the district has received an additional $3.75 million in the as part of a second round of funding. This additional funding will support a new electrical technology program in response to area business owners, trade associations and county officials expressing strong interest in creating pathways for students to enter this high-demand field. .

“We were delighted to received significant funding last year to construct a building that will house new and expanded career programs and serve hundreds more students across the county,” said HCVSD Superintendent Dr. Todd Bonsall. “The second round of grants moves us towards an even stronger plan to support our region – both our students and our employers and our overall economic vitality. We’ve heard anecdotally, and data from the New Jersey Department of Labor confirms it, that electrical technology is a high-growth field. Our students will have their choice of career opportunities after completing this training, and employers will have more success in building qualified teams. »

The recently awarded grant will support 3,550 square feet of learning space for the Electrical Technology program, which will be in addition to previously approved plans for a new 35,000 square foot district building on the North Hunterdon campus. The Electrical Technology Workshop will have individual workstations for students to practice and hone their hands-on skills, as well as a host of trainers and power tools. A theoretical classroom will overlook the store from the second floor. The inauguration of the new district building is scheduled for late summer and early fall this year.

HCVSD’s new Electrical Technology program will serve an additional 25 students per year, for a total of 100 new students as the four-year program is fully enrolled. This is in addition to the 560 new student places expected to be created by new and expanded programs supported by the first round of grants.

HCVSD students in the Electrical Technology program will have the opportunity to begin a pre-apprenticeship in their third year of study. Class hours will contribute to the minimum 144 hours of related instruction required for recorded learning. This is in addition to the 8,000 hours of paid employment required.

Hunterdon County business owners have pledged to support the creation of their employee pipelines by welcoming apprentices. John Fusco, Jr., president of the Hunterdon County Electrical Contractors Association and owner of Fusco Electric, LLC in Pittstown, NJ, was among those who submitted a letter of support with the HCVSD second-round grant application.

Fusco wrote, “For businesses like ours to continue to thrive, schools like the Hunterdon County Vocational School District must be supported. HCVSD has a proven track record of success in building work-ready employees and, more importantly, in its commitment to the economic development of Hunterdon County through partnerships with companies like Fusco Electric, LLC. Accordingly, we wholeheartedly support the school district‘s grant application and are a committed partner for the potential pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship model.

The four-year Electrical Technology Program progresses through career-focused content, with the opportunity for students to complete NCCER Electrical Levels 1-4, which are industry-valued assessments. Students will also have the option of taking a 6-year path to an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electrical Engineering, Applied Science, or Business or taking an 8-year path to a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering or Business Management.

HCVSD extended its partnership with Raritan Valley Community College from the start of the first round of grant applications. A new agreement ensures that the college can accommodate the increased number of HCVSD students who are expected to pursue dual enrollment, as well as the increased number of those who will attend after high school, based on the school district’s expansion goals.

Among the most critical partners the district secured before pursuing both rounds of grants were the Hunterdon County Commissioners. To pursue ETC expansion grants, HCVSD first needed to secure 25% local matching funding. Commissioners secured funding for both towers.

“A strong partnership between the Hunterdon County Vocational School District and the County Board of Commissioners is critical to the generational growth of tomorrow’s industry leaders here in Hunterdon County,” said Hunterdon County Commissioner , Zachary T. Rich. “I am beyond proud to serve as the Liaison Commissioner to HCVSD, working with Dr. Bonsall to secure essential grants to maintain the standard of excellence in technical training that makes HCVSD students recognized at nationwide in their respective fields, year after year.

Rich continued, “The construction of the North Hunterdon Campus Expansion is a significant milestone for education in Hunterdon County. As we, together, continue to provide students with the best tools and resources to succeed after graduation.

CTE expansion grants received by HCVSD stem from the Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act, which was passed by New Jersey voters in 2018. This Bond Act earmarked $275 million for vocational and technical school districts of the county to create new seats for students in career-oriented programs. programs that meet county needs and align with labor market demands or New Jersey’s economic development goals.

HCVSD’s first round of grants supports the upcoming construction of the new district building on the grounds of North Hunterdon Secondary School – another important partner in this expansion initiative. North Hunterdon will help HCVSD students meet the core curriculum requirements to graduate from high school.

The full-time career programs that will be offered in the new HCVSD building – with an expected start in Fall 2024 – are HVAC/Plumbing Technology; Culinary Arts and Hospitality; Advanced Manufacturing and Aeronautical Sciences; welding technology; and diesel technology – in addition to the new electric technology program. This new building on the North Hunterdon Campus will also have expanded state-of-the-art space for the HCVSD Culinary Program, which will relocate from the district’s Bartles Campus.

HCVSD will continue to provide updates on its grant-funded expansion on the district website,

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