PARAMUS, NJ (Bergen County) — U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) Thursday joined First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy at Bergen County Community College, to highlight how investments from the American Rescue Plan are helping our students, educators, and critical institutions of higher education — that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic — recover and thrive.
“There are some great reasons why the First Lady and the Secretary chose to stop here at Bergen Community College today. As the largest community college in the state, with nearly 13,000 students, this institution is on the cutting-edge, providing a first-rate education and real career opportunities to people from all backgrounds and stages of life. It has the only STEM research lab at a community college in the country and it has an advanced manufacturing lab, alongside unbelievable apprenticeship programs and veterans’ programs. I’m very proud to represent Bergen Community College,” Gottheimer said. “After getting hit hard by COVID-19, we passed the American Rescue Plan, which helped save the day for students, ensuring that they had the systems and resources to keep preparing for their futures. And, of course, no one knows the value and critical importance of community colleges more than our First Lady — a remarkable community college educator herself, who somehow still finds the time to teach.”
The American Rescue Plan allocated nearly $3 billion for institutions of higher education that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. More than $1 billion of investment was allocated directly to institutions like Bergen Community College that are Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) and to under-resourced institutions eligible for the Strengthening Institutions Programs. Specifically, Bergen Community College clawed back more than $14 million through the American Rescue Plan.
First Lady Dr. Biden, U.S. Secretary of Education Cardona, Governor Murphy and Congressman Gottheimer were joined today by Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco, Sheriff Anthony Cureton, Commissioner Tracy Zur, Assemblywoman Lisa Swain, and other New Jersey leaders.