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New Hunterdon County career and technical facility will expand technology, trades opportunities for students

HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJ – Hunterdon County’s new 36,000 square foot career and technical school building that will expand technological, trades, and mechanical educational offerings for students took a major step toward reality on October 17, as the county commissioners, school district boards and superintendent held a groundbreaking ceremony for the facility’s construction.

Hunterdon Commissioner Board Director John E. Lanza said, “Today’s groundbreaking ceremony is a historic day for Hunterdon County and our Vocational School District, also known as Polytech. We are helping to lay the foundation for Hunterdon County’s long-term economic vitality and sustainability.”

The Commissioner Board’s Deputy Director Zach Rich, the Board’s liaison to the Polytech, said, “As someone who works every day in the building construction industry, I see firsthand the shortages that our county, state, and nation face in skilled labor. Rather than simply talk about the challenges, today, we are making a targeted investment in career and technical education (CTE) that will pay dividends for years to come. We are saying to parents, guardians, and young people across Hunterdon County that you have a future here.”

Polytech Superintendent Dr. Todd Bonsall said, “This is a long awaited day for Hunterdon County! Today we are breaking ground on the HCVSD-North Campus located on the North Hunterdon High School campus in the general area of the lower student parking lot adjacent to Regional Road. This project represents a unique partnership with the North Hunterdon Voorhees High School District. One of the first of its kind in New Jersey.”

“In this collaborative partnership with the North Hunterdon Voorhees School District, the students will become full-time students of the Hunterdon County Vocational School District where they will take their TE coursework in our new facility and walk across the campus to take their academic coursework at North Hunterdon High School. Students will be eligible to attend these programs of study beginning in the 9th grade. A full time CTE program of study will allow the students to increase their time in their CTE program of choice by more than double than that of a typical 2-year shared-time program. In addition, the students will have opportunities to earn additional industry certifications, as well as earn college credits while in high school and/or get a jumpstart on an DOL endorsed Apprenticeship,” Bonsall said.

The $25 million cost of constructing the new career and technical facility will be offset with 75% funding from the State of New Jersey and the County’s 25% match is fully funded with no debt issued.

The new Polytech facility, on property located next to the North Hunterdon Regional High School, will boast 6 programs of study and will offer expanded career and technical training in high skill, high wage and high demand careers, including Culinary arts & Hospitality; Welding Technology; Advanced Manufacturing & Aeronautical Sciences; Electrical Technology; HVAC/Plumbing Technology, and Diesel Technology.

The new facility will enable the Polytech Board to save the cost of the lease agreement for the facility presently in use at Bartles Corner Road. It will also provide full education instructional opportunities for Career and Technical students, ending the practice of time consuming, mid-day bus rides between various school buildings.

Joining the Commissioners and Superintendent at the ground breaking ceremony were Assemblyman John DiMaio, County Sheriff Fred Brown Polytech Board President, Elizabeth Martin, NHV Board President Jessica Viotto, NHV Superintendent, Jeff Bender, Executive County Superintendent Juan Torres, Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce President, Chris Phelan, Kevin Settembrino of Settembrino Architects and EPIC Construction Manager Joel Lizotte.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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