Visas Yield Training Dollars

Sounding Off: WorldCom’s CTO

Rooftop Networking

Corporate Angels

Corrections or additions?

Prepared for August 30, 2000 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All

rights reserved.

Rent-a-Computer-Lab From Public Schools

You need to put a dozen people through some special

computer training but you don’t have a place to do it. And you don’t

want to go through the expensive and cumbersome process of renting

a room and bringing in a dozen computers.

Solution: Take advantage of the taxes you are paying to the state

and use one of the computer training centers established by state

grants in the public schools. Mercer County has a 20 work-station

laboratory at the Valley Road headquarters of Princeton Regional


and it is now open to the public (609-683-3696;

These Educational Technology Traning Centers (ETTCs) are stocked with

the latest technology and grant-funded by the state education


to provide computer training for teachers and administrators in school

districts. They also train personnel from justice and corrections

departments, and special education schools. The ETTC in Middlesex

is located in East Brunswick, and another one is in Somerset.

Dana George started Mercer County’s ETTC in 1997 and —


the Witherspoon center and facilities in other schools — trained

500 educators the first year, 1,800 the second year, and 3,000 last

year. "Part of our grant says we are supposed to be self


and that we are supposed to be renting out our facilities. The main

grant ends September 30. We are more and more having to rely on


our money," says George. "Anyone can come and take the


Anyone can come and rent the facilities."

George is a native of Piscataway, where her father had his own


She went to the University of Florida and worked as a reporter for

the Boca Raton News, the Lansing State Journal, and most recently

for the Star Ledger, where she was a technology reporter.

"Teachers will be required as of this November to take 100 hours

of continuing education every five years," says George. These

classes must be taken with a provider registered by the state, and

the Princeton Chamber is registering as a provider. "We are

working with the Princeton Chamber, the state chamber, and the New

Jersey Tech Corps," she says.

Her ETTC also partners with Mercer County Community College on


labs for interactive classrooms and is also entering the webpage


business. "My trainers [when not teaching] also provide web page

development. They have done Mercer County Vo-Tech’s web page and are

about to do a web page for a school district," says George.

The ETTC computer lab is much more up to date, she says, than the

one at Princeton High. "We have both PCs and Macs, digital


scanners, and a computer projected to a large screen," says


West Windsor-Plainsboro’s school district has installed a new


lab at Grover Middle School.

George has not released the cost-per-hour or the cost-per-course that

the public will pay, but promises the rates will be "very


Top Of Page
Visas Yield Training Dollars

Corporations that hire temporary foreign workers must

pay the government $500 per head, and these funds — $3 million

for Middlesex and Mercer counties — are being used to train


workers for high technology jobs. The grant will pay to train about

500 people over the next two years.

Under the 1998 American Competitive and Workforce Improvement Act,

the federal labor department collects monies from the H1-B


visa program and funnels them into the training program.

"Businesses in our area have a great need for highly skilled,

high-tech workers," says Representative Rush Holt of the

12th Congressional district. "This grant will allow our residents

to fill this shortage in the information technology areas. It will

enable American workers to have the first opportunity to fill these


Collaborating on this grant proposal were Holt, three chambers of

commerce (Middlesex, Princeton, and Mercer), both county colleges

(Mercer and Middlesex), both Workforce Investment Boards, plus the

Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood

of Electrical Workers. For information call Mercer’s Workforce


Board at 609-989-6049.

Top Of Page
Sounding Off: WorldCom’s CTO

<B>Fred M. Briggs, chief technology officer of


will speak on the information network for the 21st century on Tuesday,

September 12, at 8:30 a.m. at PSE&G’s headquarters in Newark for the

New Jersey Technology Council’s CIO Peer Network. Cost: $40. Call

856-787-9700 or go to

"The rate of technology change is faster than ever before, and

accelerating beyond anything we have ever encountered," says


"The industry is reshaping itself almost overnight. To survive

in the 21st century, businesses must focus on creating and


strategies for using new technologies in day-to-day business


He is responsible for global engineering services, network systems

engineering and development, intelligent services platform, network

architecture and next generation technology, data services engineering

and data architecture. He also oversees wireless engineering,


accounts engineering, and technical support services for the company,

including its international joint ventures, such as Avantel in Mexico

and Embratel in Brazil. Additionally, Briggs was responsible for


during the development of the FAA LINCS program and the NASDAQ


Briggs’ formerly was with MCI, most recently as senior vice president

of network services engineering. Sponsors of the meeting include KPMG;

Reed, Smith, Shaw; and the Garibaldi Group.

Top Of Page
Rooftop Networking

Taste your way through the evening, when the


County Regional Chamber of Commerce hosts its eighth annual


Networking Party" on the rooftop of the Hyatt-Regency in New


on Tuesday, September 12, from 5 to 9 p.m. Choose your delicacies

from the offerings of 30 area restaurants, while rubbing elbows with

top executives from prominent local companies who could offer your

business a boost.

Networking, the theme of this party, is the secret to increasing


and the Middlesex chamber believes that — with the most important

people from the area’s top companies coming to make some connections

— opportunities are sure to arise. While cutting a deal, enjoy

the smorgasbord of entertainment. The evening will feature live music

by the band, "Anonymous," the Rutgers cheerleading and dance

squads, games, door prizes, goodie bags, and some birthday surprises

for the chamber of commerce’s 90th birthday.

This year title sponsors included Robert Wood Johnson University

Hospital, Johnson & Johnson, Magic 98.3 FM, and


Bank. Corporate sponsors included Fenton Construction,


Bank, 1st of Omaha Merchant Processing, FlashCom,


Bank, Sovereign Bank, the Sheraton at Woodbridge Place,

and PNC Bank.

Guests are encouraged to pre-register because only pre-registered

guests appear on "the networking list," which allows guests

to do better networking the evening of the event and follow-up


The cost is $25 before September 7, and $35 at the door. To


call 732-821-1700 or visit

Top Of Page
Corporate Angels

Eight corporate softball teams played in the 11th Annual

Michael J. Brown Memorial Field of Dreams Softball Classic, and raised

over $7,000 for the treatment of neuromuscular diseases in New Jersey.

The area sponsors were Church and Dwight from Princeton, Computer

Associates from Princeton, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products

from Skillman, and Trenton Tall Cedars from Trenton. All


benefited the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s work towards a cure

for neuromuscular diseases. The MDA conducts a worldwide research

effort, a nationwide program of medical services, and professional

and public health education.

The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation presented Governor


Whitman with $1 million for the New Jersey Cultural Trust. This gift

was the first donation towards the trust that hopes to ensure a stable

source of funding in New Jersey for the arts, history, and humanities.

The Independent Insurance Agents of New Jersey (IIANJ)

sponsored the Independent Insurance Agents Junior Golf Classic (IIAJC)

on July 17 at the Olde York Country Club in Columbus. On the state

level, the IIANJ state qualifying tournament was sponsored by the

Nottingham Agency in Hamilton, Allen & Stults in


Merchants Insurance Group, Mercer Mutual, and Royal

& Sun Alliance. Sponsored by more than 300,000 members of the


Insurance Agents of America, the IIAJC began as a community service

project in 1969. Since that time, national and state associations

have sponsored the tournament to serve the needs of the nation’s youth

and communities.

For the 17th year the Building Contractors of New Jersey

sponsored a student summer work program for construction engineering

and engineering technology students in conjunction with the New Jersey

Institute of Technology. For 12 weeks, qualified students are hired

by a BCA-member contracting firm and paid $250 a week. Each student

also receives a $1,500 educational tuition fellowship, and a $1,500

personal grant. Nine students were selected for this year’s program.

To be eligible, each student had to attain a 2.75 grade point average

and have successfully completed certain math, engineering, design,

and other construction-related courses.

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs announced

that the state is providing more than $200,000 in grants for job


for urban women. The program provides grants to nonprofit agencies

and educational institutions for the implementation of job training

programs and other services to assist unemployed and underemployed

urban women attain the skills necessary to become successful in the

job market. It awarded an $85,000 grant to the New Jersey State


Women Club Inc. in Trenton.

Summit Bank has donated six computer to Christ Episcopal

Church’s After School Program in Trenton. The program, which operates

from Monday to Friday during the school year, provides Central High

School students assistance with homework, computer instruction, and

courses in African-American and Hispanic culture.

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