June 10, 2019
3 minute read

NJEDA, OCVTS Launch Free Field Trip Program with Outing to Three Ocean County Advanced Manufacturing Facilities

The Naval Air Systems Command, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst was among the advanced manufacturing facilities that OCVTS students visited during their field trip. 

JACKSON, N.J. (June 10, 2019) – More than a dozen high school students today learned first-hand about career opportunities in New Jersey’s advanced manufacturing industry during the first in a series of free field trips to Ocean County manufacturing facilities organized by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) and Ocean County Vocational Technical School (OCVTS). The program is designed to increase awareness and interest in a growing sector contending with a lack of young, qualified workers while educating New Jersey students about the various career paths available in advanced manufacturing.

OCVTS Precision Machine Technology Instructor Doug Cooley demonstrates machinery to students at OCVTS’ new Precision Machine Technology room at the OCVTS Jackson Center.

“Manufacturing is a growing industry here in New Jersey that provides good-paying, stable jobs and it is important that young people understand the opportunities available to them,” said OCVTS Superintendent Karen Homiek. “Providing this hands-on learning opportunity is an important way to show students the career options available right here in our community and provide the workforce New Jersey’s manufacturing sector needs to grow.”

Jesel is a Lakewood-based manufacturer of Valvetrain and
other engine parts for racecars and other specialty cars. 

The field trip program is part of the NJEDA’s Advanced Manufacturing Student Outreach Pilot, a series of initiatives developed to improve perceptions of and address misconceptions about the advanced manufacturing industry while exposing students to the many career pathways available in the sector. The free trips teach middle and high school students about career opportunities in advanced manufacturing and the skills required to succeed in the sector. Through the program, students from varied socio-economic backgrounds have the opportunity to attend the field trips, especially students from Ocean County municipalities that are designated as Opportunity Zones under the federal Opportunity Zone program. 

The students who attended the June 7 trip visited three Ocean County-based advanced manufacturing facilities: NAVAIR, which produces and maintains aircraft, weapons, and other systems used by America’s Navy and the Marines; Jesel, a leading producer of valvetrain products used in NASCAR racers and other vehicles; and UNEX, a manufacturer of conveyer belts and tracks for production facilities. At each stop, students had the opportunity to see high-tech manufacturing equipment in action, learn about the variety of opportunities available in the sector, and talk with employees about their experiences working in advanced manufacturing.
“Governor Murphy’s comprehensive plan for building a stronger, fairer New Jersey economy places special emphasis on high-wage, high-growth sectors like advanced manufacturing,”” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The field trip program provides students with information to consider advanced manufacturing as a viable path to a successful career, while helping to build interest among a potential workforce that could serve as the foundation the industry’s continued growth.”
For more information on career training opportunities at Ocean County Vocational Technical School please visit or call 732-473-3122.
To read Governor Murphy’s full economic plan, please visit:
About the New Jersey Economic Development Authority
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) serves as the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth. The NJEDA is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents, and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the NJEDA creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the State and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.

To learn more about EDA resources for businesses call EDA Customer Care at 609-858-6767 or visit and follow @NewJerseyEDA on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

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