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New Jersey Business & Industry Association: Stemming the Flight of Graduates from New Jersey

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association ( NJBIA) created a Postsecondary Education Task Force after research showed that New Jersey makes a significant investment in public education – $20,000 per student per year in its K-12 schools – yet leads the nation in outmigration rates of recent high school graduates and young adults.

The 2018 report produced by the task force, “Education Equation: Strategies for Retaining and Attracting New Jersey’s Future Workforce,” drew on the input of 100 prominent members of academia, experts from the state departments of labor and education, businesses, nonprofits, and millennials.

The release of the report, which was originally authored and updated in 2019 by NJBIA Director of Economic Policy Research Nicole Sandelier, has led or contributed to:

  • A higher education branding campaign being led by the New Jersey Presidents’ Council, which represents the state’s public and private universities and community colleges;
  • Voter approval of a bond issue providing $350 million to expand career and technical education shops at county vocational schools and $50 million for CTE projects at county colleges;
  • Enactment of the 3-Plus-1 College Affordability Law (P.L.2018, c.144), which allows students to complete three years of studies at a county college (paying less expensive county college tuition rates), followed by one year at a partnering four-year college to obtain a bachelor’s degree from that institution;
  • Senate passage of legislation to make apprenticeships more accessible to New Jersey residents in high-growth industries.

3 thoughts on “New Jersey Business & Industry Association: Stemming the Flight of Graduates from New Jersey

  1. Does “out migration” include kids that get a job in Manhattan but still live at home in Ridgewood?

  2. Pffft. Job in MH but still live with mom n dad.
    Brilliant.

  3. The flight of New Jersey high school graduates has a big part of its origin in the sheer quality of their academic records, putting them, as a group, at a competitive advantage over the high school graduates of more or less all other U.S. states. For example, In no other US. state is the competition as stiff, year in and year out, as it is in New Jersey for the status of National Merit Commended Student, National Merit Semifinalist and National Merit Finalist, all of which are limited to a fixed (and miniscule) percentage of the total number of sophomore PSAT test takers in New Jersey. The sheer number of top shelf high school graduates New Jersey consistently produces every year compared to those of all other states, even other Northeast states, is remarkable. Top colleges all around the country regularly lure a huge chunk of our best graduates out of state to pursue their undergraduate degrees. Why? Because without those top NJ HS grads leavening their incoming freshman class every year the average credentials of their respective student bodies would objectively begin to slip and make them less competitive over time. Is it a really any surprise that many of our high school graduates don’t return after college? It’s actually a yearly testament to the consistently high comparative standards of our best high schools, including RHS.

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