Legislation sponsored by New Jersey Senator Tom Kean (R-Union) and Assemblymen John Amodeo (R-Atlantic) and Vince Polistina (R-Atlantic) that authorizes county vocational school districts and county colleges to enter into partnership with one or more private entities to develop and establish aviation related job certification, training, and internship programs was approved by the Senate Education Committee today.
"Being connected to the rest of the world is vital in a global economy with demand for highly skilled workers in the aviation industry growing at a steady rate," Kean stated. "By making a concerted effort in the area of work readiness and training we can help interested students achieve successful careers while also keeping New Jersey competitive in a global marketplace."
Under the bill, county vocational school districts and county colleges will work to identify needed skills and certifications, develop training programs, train workers for jobs in the aviation industry, and provide student internship opportunities in the aviation industry in partnership with employers in that industry. In addition, any financial contributions from the private entity would be deductible from their corporate business tax liability for the tax year of the donation.
“The aviation industry is ripe for economic development, especially in Atlantic County, which is home to a world premier aviation research, development, test and evaluation facility for the Next Generation Air Transportation System, including its Aviation Research and Technology Park (ARTP)," said Amodeo. “To take advantage of that development, we need people properly trained to do the job. Stockton College, Atlantic Cape Community College, the Atlantic County Institute of Technology as well as similar educational facilities around our state are tremendous assets we can and should fully utilize by allowing them to partner with aviation-related companies in educating and training the people who keep the planes in the air. This legislation will help us accomplish that.”
Atlantic Cape Community College has already partnered with the federally funded South Jersey Economic Development District to develop an air traffic control education/training program. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates about 3,400 new air traffic controllers will be needed between 2008 and 2018. Other jobs available in the aviation industry include mechanics, technicians, pilots, ground transportation and security/screening.
“We have all the right tools in place to make aviation a core industry in this region and throughout the state,” Polistina said. “We need to parlay this opportunity into economic growth and job creation. This measure will not only provide the necessary training for our residents who are interested in pursuing aviation careers, but it offers valuable incentives to any aviation-related company that wants to call New Jersey home.”
The legislation, A-507/S-536, is one of five aviation industry development bills Amodeo and Polistina have sponsored to help usher in a new era of economic development for the Atlantic County region and the state. Senator Kean is the sponsor of identical bills in the Senate.