Rowan designated 1 of 10 N.J. “talent networks”

Rowan designated 1 of 10 N.J. “talent networks”

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The State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development this month named Rowan University’s division of Global Learning & Partnerships a 2018 talent network, one of 10 schools in the state to receive such a designation.

As such, Rowan has received a $275,000 state grant to conduct research into helping ensure New Jersey has enough utilities and construction workers to fill critical, developing workforce needs.

Dr. Lorraine Ricchezza, assistant vice president for academic affairs, said the grant will enable Rowan to gather information about workforce needs through summits and other processes with businesses, schools, industry leaders, local government agencies, non-profits and union leaders.

“It flips the typical higher education model,” Ricchezza said. “We’re listening to industry to help identify common skills gaps and workforce needs so we may develop programs accordingly.”

She said the University, which offers a Bachelor of Arts in Construction Management as well as a Master of Engineering Management degree through Rowan Global, is working closely with its partner schools, Rowan College at Gloucester County and Rowan College at Burlington County, to ensure adequate programming at the community college level to support workforce needs.

“An important facet of this program is considering high school age students who may want to pursue careers in construction or with the utilities and the role we can play in helping them achieve those goals,” Ricchezza said.

Launched in 2011, the state’s Talent Networks program was created to research work force needs across a broad spectrum of New Jersey industries including manufacturing, financial services, health care, life sciences and hospitality & tourism.

Talent Networks share collected information with the Talent Development Centers who develop curriculum and instruction programs as part of a comprehensive Talent Development System which pairs job seekers with job creators and trainers/educators.

The program is part of the state’s ‘‘65 by 25: Many Paths, One Future’’ initiative, which was developed to build a skilled, competitive workforce by helping New Jerseyans find pathways to careers. This collaborative effort of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the Department of Education, and the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education is focused on increasing the percentage of New Jersey adults who have earned an industry-valued post-secondary credential or degree from 50 percent to 65 percent by 2025.