Gov. Phil Murphy (D) joined Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise at Hudson County Community College announce the New Jersey Pay it Forward Program this morning.
During his public remarks, DeGise acknowledged that he’ll be retiring at the end of 2023 after over two decades in his current post, which he assumed in 2002. Given those circumstances, he’s thinking about his legacy.
“Right up near the top of my list for a legacy is the community college. We have put up five new buildings in this general neighborhood of Journal Square during my 20 years and the arm twist for the governor is I want to do one more gov,” he said with a smile.
“This is a library, we have student centers, we have laboratories: what we don’t have in a gymnasium and a student center for athletics so we field no teams here. And you might have heard, Hudson County is a bit of a basketball haven here.”
As for the Pay it Forward Program participants in the program will receive zero-interest, no-fee loans at no upfront cost, as well as non-repayable living stipends and wraparound supports.
The goal is to allow them to affordably prepare for good-paying, career-track jobs in the health care, information technology (IT), and clean energy sectors.
“With today’s launch of Pay It Forward, New Jersey is the first state in the nation to model this innovative approach that will help residents obtain family-sustaining jobs and then pay their success forward by supporting future cohorts of students,” the governor said.
“This initiative is another way in which my Administration is working to give more residents access to high-quality education and training that will lead to good-paying jobs and successful careers. Investing in our residents will not only give them the opportunity to create a better life for themselves and their families, but will also help meet employers’ needs and promote economic development throughout the state.”
The loans will enable participants to enroll in credential, certificate, and degree programs at one of three inaugural training providers: Registered Nursing at Hudson County Community College, Cybersecurity at New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Welding at Camden County College.
“Hudson County Community College is honored to be selected as an inaugural provider for Governor Murphy’s ‘Pay It Forward’ program,” HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber, who could not attend this morning, said in a statement.
“Our RN program is one of the finest and most successful anywhere. We have committed, experienced faculty who assist students who come from diverse backgrounds and have a variety of learning needs, and we have affiliations with every major, area hospital so students receive clinical experience that prepares them for today’s nursing practice.”
All loan payments will be recycled back into the fund to ‘pay it forward’ for subsequent students’ training costs.
The program aims to help participants find jobs while also helping employers fill in-demand positions in high-growth sectors to promote economic growth in New Jersey.
Members of the New Jersey CEO Council, a coalition of CEOs from some of the state’s largest and most widely recognized companies, provided corporate contributions of approximately $5 million to the Pay It Forward Program.
The State added to this commitment with appropriations of $5 million in Fiscal Year 2022 and $2.5 million in Fiscal Year 2023.
Furthermore, the CEO Council is made up of the CEOs of BD, Campbell Soup Company, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Prudential Financial, PSEG, RWJBarnabas Health, and Verizon.
New Jerseyans have the option to enroll in Hudson County Community College’s Nursing Program , a two-year, full-time associate degree program in Jersey City designed to prepare learners for careers as registered nurses.
Participants complete clinical placements to gain on-the-job nursing experience and prepare for roles as nurses in hospitals and other health care settings.
The program offers evening, weekend, and daytime class schedules to accommodate working learners and learners with families.