Jul-09-10 Labor Commissioner Tours Bergen County Academies
HACKENSACK, July 9, 2010 — During a recent visit to Bergen County Academies (BCA) in Hackensack Commissioner Harold J. Wirths was afforded a firsthand look at how New Jersey students are acquiring the knowledge and skills that prepare them to be successful in New Jersey’s technological and knowledge-based economy.
The tour was part of Commissioner Wirths’ outreach efforts to the community of educators and trainers who are preparing New Jersey’s workforce to meet the demands of the modern workplace.
“Today’s rapidly changing technology and global competition require our schools to provide students not only with the most up-to-date knowledge, but also a solid foundation to prepare them for college, careers and for continuing lifelong education,” said Wirths.
Bergen County Academies, ranked as an elite high school by U.S. News and World Report, is a key partner in addressing the need for a strong pipeline of well-educated and highly skilled workers to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow.
Hackensack Mayor Marlin G. Townes and school officials joined Commissioner Wirths on a tour of the school facility lead by Dr. Robert Pergolizzi, Director of the Stem Cell Research Lab.
“I’m delighted that Commissioner Wirths had an opportunity to visit our school and observe firsthand how Bergen County Academies prepares its students to be competitive in the global economy by giving them access to advanced technology and to real-world experiences,” said Pergolizzi.
Wirths, an admittedly avid stock trader since the age of eight, was particularly impressed with the electronic ticker tape in the lobby of the school building. “I wish we had this at my high school when I was growing up,” said Wirths. A benefit of BCA is that applied learning is embedded into the curriculum.
Commissioner Wirths talked with students and staff while visiting a number of the school’s technical training areas, labs, and classrooms. Alex Baklajian, student and CEO of the school’s virtual biotech company, Provita, gave an overview of the structure of the company and shared information about its current projects. Two other students working in the stem cell research lab also gave slide presentations about their individual research.
“Bergen County Academies is a great school and is a model of what could be replicated throughout each county in our state,” said Wirths. “Students are the key to the success of New Jersey’s economic future and I’m glad that we have schools like BCA that are capable of meeting the challenges of our ever-advancing technological world.