TRENTON — A $53.5 million expansion at the Atlantic County Institute of Technology is one step closer to reality as the project received a $40 million endorsement from Gov. Phil Murphy last week.
The county vocational school was among the recommended recipients of funding through the $500 million voter-approved Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act, designed to increase opportunities for career and technical education in the state. The funding is pending the consent of the state Legislature.
Under Murphy’s recommendation, ACIT would receive $40 million and the county would contribute $13.5 million toward the project that would add and expand several career and technical education programs and open up about 450 new seats in the district. The Atlantic County school was recommended to receive the most funding of any individual vocational school in the state.
In November 2019, voters in New Jersey approved a $500 million bond to be used for educational upgrades, including $275 million for expansion of career and technical education programs across the state. ACIT was the only school in Atlantic County eligible to apply for the grant.
In addition to ACIT, Atlantic Cape Community College was listed among the recommended funding recipients for $4 million, which will be used to create an Innovation Center on the Mays Landing campus to support in-demand certificates and associate degrees in cybersecurity and e-gaming.
“Students will learn cybersecurity, computer forensics and gaming design in state-of-the-art esports and computer science laboratories,” Atlantic Cape President Barbara Gaba said. “The addition of these programs at Atlantic Cape will give our students problem-solving and critical thinking skills to prepare them for high-demand, well-paying careers within our region.”