In a recent interview, Chris Christie stated, “Opportunities for good-paying jobs all begin with access to high-quality education and training, whether it’s colleges and universities, vocational or technical schools, or other kinds of specialized training that prepares students for a successful future.” A man of his word, Christie revealed that he’s creating new kinds of scholarship opportunities – particularly geared toward women and minorities – on June 25th. This slew of new scholarships, called the NJ-GIVS, are helping students enroll in certificate programs – such as tech school – at all 19 of the New Jersey county colleges.
Higher education has been a big matter of discussion in our state ever since the recession. The news has recently been covering the re-investment of state funds into higher education as a solution for the state’s stagnant job market and otherwise slow-to-recover economy. Since most New Jersey residents think this is and was a much-needed economic decision, they’re also very excited about the influx of new scholarships.
But it’s not just the economy that Christie is aiming to improve. According to Mark Larkins, the head of the Schools Development Authority, providing these opportunities will bring more women and minorities into manual labor trades, changing the state of the New Jersey job market for the better. Currently, less than one percent of the workers on construction projects are female. New Jersey legislators think that this will provide incentive for women to take advantage of these available and high-paying jobs.
Most females and minorities are eligible for these scholarships. Qualification merely requires that the applicant be, of course, female or a member of a determined group of minorities; New Jersey residents and legal US citizens or immigrants; and proven submitters of the federal financial aid forms to determine financial eligibility.
County colleges in New Jersey have varying tuition rates, but they max out around $4,000 per year. While a nominal cost in comparison with other state schools, it’s still not a bill that many can foot, which keeps them ineligible for even some labor job markets. Thus, it will help to solve the issue of getting those below the poverty line into the job market as well. By encouraging all types of New Jersey citizens to get into the construction and manual labor market, we’re diversifying the work force; by providing them with quality education, we’re improving it. All-around, the introduction of these new scholarships by Christie is, by and large, a great way to stimulate the economy.