New Compact Enlists Community Colleges to Deliver
Statewide Education, Workforce and Economic Development Priorities

MCCC Vice President Thomas Wilfrid and Reverend Wayne Griffith of the MCCC Board of Trustees with Governor McGreevey at Drumthwacket after the Governor signed the Community College Compact.

Below is the New Jersey Council of County Colleges' Nov. 6 press release about the new Community College Compact:

Tuesday, Nov. 4, in a meeting with New Jersey's community college presidents and members of the boards of trustees at Drumthwacket, Governor James E. McGreevey signed the New Jersey Community College Compact, an executive order that creates a new statewide partnership between the State of New Jersey and its 19 community colleges.

The purpose of the Community College Compact is to deploy New Jersey's community colleges in support of the state's education, workforce and economic development priorities.

"In order to secure New Jersey's economic future, we have set out aggressive job goals for the next five years, like creating 200,000 new jobs, training 150,000 workers, and relocating or expanding 500 businesses into our state. But we cannot accomplish those goals alone," said McGreevey. "This Compact ensures that our community colleges will be an invaluable partner as we build New Jersey’s future, creating jobs for our families and our children for years to come. By training 21st century workers, our community colleges will provide our workforce with the skills to be competitive and will enable us to attract new businesses to our state by offering the skilled labor they require in this competitive marketplace."

"Governor McGreevey's signing of the Community College Compact is a historic moment for our state's community college system," said NJ Council of County Colleges President Dr. Lawrence A. Nespoli. "Since the inception of community colleges in the 1960s, never before has the community college sector had a formalized agreement with state government in partnering to meet the state’s educational, workforce and economic development needs."

Last year during a statewide community college conference, Governor McGreevey encouraged community college leaders to work with members of his Cabinet to jointly develop ways to better serve the citizens of the state. Since then, the state's community colleges have partnered with the NJ Department of Education to develop New Pathways to Teaching in New Jersey, an alternate route teacher certification program that enrolled over 500 students in its first year. The Compact charges community colleges to continue the partnership with the Department of Education to develop a 12th Grade Option Program that will allow qualified high school students to enroll in community college courses.

The Compact also calls for community colleges to work with the NJ Department of Labor to improve customized training services to New Jersey’s businesses through the state’s Workforce Development Partnership Program, which offers grants to qualified businesses to train employees. The colleges will soon announce the formation of a new statewide community college workforce consortium that will better serve the training needs of businesses in New Jersey.

Community colleges are also working with the NJ Commerce and Economic Growth Commission to develop statewide programs that support urban enterprise zones and the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers. The first of these programs, the Entrepreneur Certificate, will be offered on community college campuses beginning in summer 2004 to those interested in starting a small business in the state.

In addition, the Compact calls for community colleges to work with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General to offer homeland security training programs that have been endorsed by the New Jersey League of Municipalities, the New Jersey Association of Counties and the New Jersey General Assembly.

The New Jersey Council of County Colleges is the state association representing New Jersey's 19 community colleges. As an independent, trustee-headed organization that joins the leadership of trustees and presidents, the Council is the voice of the community college sector before the state legislature and other branches of government. The Council is also the state coordinating organization for all community colleges in New Jersey.

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