Workforce and Urban Education

Faculty and students in the classroom

Passaic County Community College
Passaic Partners for STEM Innovation and Achievement Project (PPSIA)

Jobs of the Future and the Urban Education Challenge

The administrators of the STEM program at PCCC noted that the  two-year Passaic Partners for STEM Innovation and Achievement project will enable PCCC, with its main campus in downtown Paterson, to address the challenges of attracting students from low-income urban areas to STEM programs as well as the realities of  the future employment market.

According to data provided by the STEM program, workforce projections for 2014 by the U.S. Department of Labor show that 15 of the 20 fastest growing occupations require significant science or math training and that between 2006 and 2016, information technology jobs will increase by 24 per cent.

Those facts - combined with studies that show inner-city students in low-income school districts consistently lag behind their peers in more affluent areas in math, science, and technology skills -  indicate the need for increased STEM education in urban schools.

Though the federally funded PPSIA project is a two-year (2009-11) venture, the STEM coordinator at PCCC, Thomas van Aken, hopes to continue the project beyond the two-year period.  “We have a vision that this will go on and grow far beyond that point,” he said.


Incoming PCCC freshmen get a head start on college in
the STEM summer bridge program