Colleges And Universities Must Be Responsive To The Needs Of Our Communities

Transcript:

Governor Christie: We are not going to fix the challenges that confront Trenton overnight but I really believe that symbols make a big difference.  And the symbols of Thomas Edison State College, right here, right on the main street where our state capitol is transforming not only the landscape but transforming the lives of the people who enter into this building is an extraordinary way to get going. So I want to thank the members of the legislature who are here as well, for their support in the Building Our Future Bond Act. This $26 million project was built with $16 million in state funding and it includes the University’s newest program, the accelerated 2nd degree Bachelors of Science in Nursing program which is going to allow students who already have possess a Bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing discipline to complete a BSN in just one year. We know we need more nurses in the State of New Jersey, that there is a real significant shortage and being able to streamline that process for people who already have a solid foundation of education is something that Thomas Edison is uniquely positioned to do, to respond to that need. And we need our colleges and universities to be responsive to the needs of folks in our communities if we want to keep them here because if we do not respond, they will go to another state that is responding and they will not only get their education there but they will work there. And that brain drain from the State of New Jersey is not something that we want to see happen. While I am certainly not a fan of debt, I am a fan of investment in things that will pay off much beyond what we have invested. And when you look at the billion three we have invested here, we have already recouped in economic development that investment and that will be an investment that will just pay on and on. So I hope that future governors will learn from this experience; that they will not wait another 25 years to invest in capital money in our colleges and universities. There is no reason for us to have to pay catch up here. We now, I think are as sophisticated as any state in the country on this. We need to move ahead and move forward. And I hope that future governors will take that into consideration when they see the success of what has happened here and the students that will matriculate here and ultimately will be produced for our workforce.

 

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