New Jersey's Camps Serve Our Future

By Matthew Phair | September 28, 2010

The Construction Industry Advancement Program of New Jersey has created two unique summer camps, Construction Camps and the Future Civil Engineers Camp, to introduce students of all ages to the exciting world of construction careers. These camps are all about reaching the inquisitive minds of younger students, who even at the early age of 8 can start to relate to what they may want to be when they "grow up." It is the perfect time to introduce different career paths and opportunities. The camps also educate parents about all the tremendous benefits of careers in the industry through the materials that come home with the students. Camp Activities include hands-on activities and exploration; field trips to the union training centers; and special programs all from our participating union trades featuring the carpenters, construction laborers and the operating engineers. Camps are held at Essex County Community College, Gloucester County College, Middlesex County College, Ocean County College, and Union County College. Civil Engineering Professor John Gribbin handles the program at Essex County College, while Debbie Robinson handles registration for the Ocean County College program. Gloucester County College and Union County College can be contact directly.

Another camp of great interest to the regional construction industry is the Future Civil Engineers Camp. This camp is all about motivating the most creative minds of a new generation of prospective civil engineers to become leaders for the construction industry in New Jersey. This 5-day overnight camp, for rising high school seniors from all over the state, is held at The College of New Jersey. Students accepted to the camp have the opportunity to interact with civil engineering students, distinguished educators and professionals from the industry. The camp features mini-courses in computer-aided drafting, operating the latest in surveying equipment, hands-on lab experiences, guest speakers, and evening social activities. The highlight of the camp is the site visit to a construction site to meet with practicing engineers. To be eligible for camp, students must rank at the top 10 percent of their class, have successfully completed three years of college prep mathematics, and have an interest in engineering.

NJ Tolls Can Pay For NJ Toll Roads

As New Jersey struggles to find the money to pay for much-needed infrastructure improvements, a group of legislators are advocating what makes perfect sense: use toll-road tolls to improve toll roads. According to a May 5 item from the Associated Press, lawmakers Senate President Richard J. Codey and Senate Majority Leader Stephen Sweeney say the governor should let the New Jersey Turnpike Authority invoke its own power to increase tolls 45 percent to widen some of the nation's busiest toll roads and fix bridges rather than wait for an alternative to pay debt and meet statewide transportation needs. Democratic Gov. Jon S. Corzine currently is offering a proposal to create a new agency that would borrow money and significantly increase tolls for decades to pay state debt and fund transportation. The turnpike authority retains power to boost tolls on the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike. Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri has said a 45-percent toll increase is needed to repair toll roads and bridges on them. Sweeney said the public and legislators don't support using toll money to pay state debt, but would accept increasing tolls to widen the Turnpike and Parkway and fix bridges on them. Plans call for widening the Turnpike from Exits 6 to 8A and the Parkway from Exits 30 to 80. Toll road bridges also need billions of dollars in repairs. The parkway is the nation's busiest toll road and the turnpike the fifth, according to the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association. Parkway tolls have increased once and turnpike tolls five times in the last 51 years.