Workforce Development

Bridging the Gap: Education and Industry

ATEA National Conference Program

New Jersey county colleges and businesses are working to build pathways to meet the needs of a rapidly changing economy. On March 17 – 18, 2020 leaders in education and industry will be coming together to explore how New Jersey is uniquely positioned to lead a rapidly changing economy and explore the complexities involved. 

education, technical education, manufacturing industry, skills gap, workforce development

The National Conference Program is made possible by the American Technical Education Association (ATEA) and the New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC). There are over 18 county colleges part of NJCCC and each holds exceptional promise to be a force to help close the technical education gap. 

Throughout the two-day event, representatives from the county colleges will be speaking and hosting breakout sessions. These individuals will be bringing an academic perspective. Representatives from industry will be taking part in the national conference as well. Educational institutions’ ability to collaborate with industry leaders is essential. To make a real difference and begin closing the skills gap, business and academia must work together. Industry must help inform educators about which skills are in-demand and what kind of curriculum students need to secure these careers after graduation. 


Thursday, March 17 and Friday, March 18


Blackwood County College

What Attendees Can Expect…

Day 1 Agenda

8:00 – 11:00 – ATEA Board Meeting Blackwood Campus, Faculty Dining Room, Connector Building

11:00 – Trade Show Opens – Blackwood Campus, Connector Atrium

11:30 – Welcome to the ATEA National Conference on Technical Education Connector Atrium

12:00-12:45 – Lunch in the Trade Show Connector Bldg. Atrium

12:50-1:45 – Opening General Session—Civic Hall Auditorium, Connector Bldg.

2:00-3:00 – Breakout session—Connector Building and Madison Hall

Breakout 1

CTE Partnerships in Health Care
ATEA: Dr. Lin Zhou, President, Bates Technical College, Tacoma WA

Breakout 2

Importance of Employer Engagement
Dr. James Barrott, Executive Vice President, College of Applied Technology Programs, Chattanooga State Community College, Chattanooga TN

Breakout 3 

Engaging Girls in Technical Education: “Girls Can Build Too”

Breakout 4

Essential Skills for Future Economy
FESTO Gold Sponsor
Tony Oran, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, FEST

3:15-4:15 – General Session II Civic Hall Auditorium, Connector Building

4:30-5:00 – Reception Cyber Café Bistro 

5:00-5:30 – Annual Meeting Civic Hall Connector Building

5:30-7:00 – Dinner & Awards Program ATEA National Awards & ATEA 3D Futures Competition Awards

Day 2 Agenda

8:00-9:00 – Trade Show Atrium Space/ New Jersey County College Registration & Continental Breakfast For All

9:00-9:15 – Civic Hall Connector Building

9:15 – 10:15 – Keynote: David M. Daly, President, and COO, PSEG 

“How PSE&G is changing due to technology and economic competition: What are the workforce needs of PSE&G, industry and the broader economy?”

10:30 – 11:30 – Breakout Session Connector Building and Madison Hall

1. Non-credit pathways in two-year colleges
2. Work-based learning models for technical education: apprenticeships
3. Embedding Student Success Strategies in the Classroom to Promote Self-efficiency.
4. “How to create a Career and Tech Ed space and new program in 2020”

11:30-12:30 – Buffet Lunch and Trade Show

1:00 – Trade Show Ends

12:30 – 1:30 – General Session Speaker: Matt Kirchner, President Lab Midwest 

“infinity.0: Preparing Our Students for a World that Does Not Exist”

1:45-2:30 – Q& A Forum

“Solutions for the Future: What do we need from state and federal governments to ensure a vital and innovative future of technical education?”

2:30-3:00 – Closing comments and refreshments Atrium

Events like the ATEA National Conference are critical in bridging the skills gap that continues the holdback US manufacturing. Communication and collaboration between academia and industry is vital. It takes creative solutions to disseminate information about modern manufacturing and the skills these businesses need in their workforce. When education and industry are on the same page, they can begin to effectively cultivate the talent pool of the future. 

To learn more about the ATEA National Conference or to register, visit the official ATEA National Conference website.

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