VIDEO: CCTEC Almost Ready for Students and County RedevelopmentPosted:
MILLVILLE – A brand new education facility is almost ready to open in Cumberland County.
Adjacent to Cumberland County College is the new Cumberland County Technical Education Center, which is part of a project organized by the Cumberland County Improvement Authority (CCIA) to help redevelop the area.
In just a few more weeks, school will be back in session. But at the brand new Cumberland County Technical Education Center, 241 students will fill the hallways and begin to learn their trade in their brand new facilities.
“Construction actually only took about 18 months, so it was a very quick process," said Jerry Velazquez, Executive Director at the CCIA. "We had a time line, and we had to make sure it happened in time to get the kids into the school.”
The $68 million project was part of an economic development program run by the Cumberland County Improvement Authority, with a goal to expand economic opportunities for businesses and residents of the county.
“There are jobs that are created, by the 270 construction workers that have been on the site, so obviously that’s a direct impact to the county,” said Velazquez. “The school system improves; students get better trained to go into the workforce.”
The previous location of Cumberland County’s Technical School will be closed down, as the current students and new younger classes will walk through these doors on the first day of school.
“But as an educator, as a teacher, I’m a teacher to the core. My favorite day is going to be September 12th, seeing all of the students come across the threshold at their new school,” said Dina Rossi Elliot, CCTEC Superintendent.
The new school will have 78 instructional areas to house 12 different trade programs, which mirror the old studies but have added new engineering and communications programs. With small numbers in each class, the superintendent said that the students will get a true technical education with their hands-on experiences, and more opportunity for the community.
“We’re going to be beginning adult education programs beginning in January of 2017, so that’s the next layer of training in the workforce," said Rossi. "Not only training with our student high school population, but also with our adult population.”
And until that September date, the school is finishing up those final touches to welcome a new generation of learning.
“We had a sneak peek a couple of days ago with our engineering students, and just the excitement on their faces, that’s my greatest gift,” said Rossi.
“It’s awesome for us, I mean, it’s kind of a dream come true for the teachers and the superintendent and the folks that are here at the tech school for us, it’s a big step forward," said Velazquez.