All Hail the NJSBA for Task Force Access to Vocational Training


Vocational and technical education in our state has not been receiving the attention that it deserves. We have placed so much of our focus on making college prep courses the center of high school curriculums across the country. Vocational training opportunities for our children are few and far between because of budget constraints in many of the school districts in our state. Many of our children feel they have no other option but college where they waste time and money..

To combat this, the New Jersey School Boards Association is forming a task force to study educational opportunities for the non-college-bound student. The task force will examine ways to better serve the needs of these students, increase opportunities, and ways to fund them.

In a press release, the NJSBA noted that the United States has many great careers which do not require a college degree. In fact, there are about 30 million jobs paying a median of $55,000 that do not require a four-year degree. It is clear that there are many wonderful opportunities for learning and career paths that do not involve college.

Do not get me wrong – college is wonderful for all those who believe it will help them. The reality is that not everyone will benefit from obtaining a four-year degree. Our children all have very unique skills sets and learning styles from one another. Some of them are great in studying math, science, and literature in a classroom setting. Others learn by doing. Not all are interested in attending college and should not feel short of success by not doing so.

You can learn a trade and be successful. Congressman Norcross and Senate President Stephen Sweeney are both shining examples of successful tradespeople.  

The demand for skilled tradespeople is growing in our state. As a representative of the Fifth Legislative District and member of the Assembly Education Committee, I applaud the state School Boards Association for working to expand access to vocational training. It is great to see the needs of all our children being met.   

Patricia Egan Jones, D-Camden/Gloucester, represents the 5th Legislative District in the New Jersey state Assembly.

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