EAST BRUNSWICK – A delegation of industry representatives from China toured the East Brunswick campus of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools (MCVTS) on Oct. 17, visiting the classrooms of six career majors and hearing presentations by members of the school district’s administration.
Twenty-five visitors from Hangzhou in eastern China, a metropolitan area of more than 21 million people, interacted with students and teachers in automotive technology, machine tool technology, pre-engineering and advanced manufacturing, multimedia art and digital design, architecture technology and baking classrooms, according to information provided by MCTVS.
The tour was arranged by Amanda Wen, program coordinator for Rutgers University Global-Professional Development and Training, which was hosting the Chinese delegation.
The group was greeted by MCVTS Superintendent of Schools Dianne D. Veilleux and East Brunswick campus Principal Michael Cappiello.
Cappiello and Assistant Principal Kelly Nakielny were aided by Wen and another translator from Rutgers on the 90-minute tour.
“They are interested in how we train our students to enter the workforce,” Wen said in the statement.
“You will be visiting specialized classrooms,” Veilleux told the group, according to the statement. “What you will see are our students and teachers in action.”
The visitors had many questions as they moved from classroom to classroom, including asking about the qualifications of the faculty.
Cappiello told them that teachers come from academic backgrounds and from long careers in industry, and all are certified in their fields by the state Department of Education, according to the statement.
Pre-engineering teacher Stephen Mercadante told the group his students would demonstrate “everything to automate the factory” with brief presentations on robotics, flow control and automated assembly, according to the statement.
After the tour, Dawn Lystad, MCVTS director of Adult Education, gave a presentation on apprenticeship programs for adults, and Sean McDonald, director of Career and Technical Education, spoke on pre-apprenticeship partnerships for high school students.
The group also heard from Breanna Datello, of NJ CAR, which is partnering with MCVTS to offer apprenticeship to new-car service technicians, and Lisa Ferrier, guidance counselor at the Middlesex County Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences in Woodbridge, who explained how students are advised on college and career decisions, according to the statement.
Representatives of the group presented traditional Chinese silk fans to Veilleux and Cappiello.