An automotive shop owner, an ice sculptor and an international food distribution company were among those honored recently by county vocational schools as 2017 business partners of the year.
The Atlantic County Institute of Technology recognized Jeff Walker, owner of Walker’s Automotive Service in Pleasantville, who has served on the ACIT Advisory Board and Craft Committee for 27 years.
“Thanks to Mr. Walker, our students get real-world experiences and develop the skills necessary to be successful in the automotive industry,” ACIT Principal Joseph Potkay said.
Walker assists with curriculum revisions, provides ongoing professional development to staff and students, and has made recommendations for equipment purchases and upgrades to the ACIT automotive shop.
Walker has hired many ACIT graduates, and continues to act as their mentor as they grow in experience as automotive professionals.
The Cape May County Technical School District recognized chef-sculptor Douglas Gomersall, owner and operator of Living Ice in Cape May.
For the past 17 years, Gomersall has demonstrated his ice-carving talents and shared his skills and knowledge with students in the culinary arts, pre-engineering, commercial art and career exploratory programs.
The Cumberland County Technical Education Center honored Sysco Philadelphia, LLC.
Sysco representatives provide leadership and guidance to the school’s Advisory Committee for the Culinary Arts and Hospitality program.
Ocean County Vocational Technical School recognized Ray Soehngen, owner of Broadway Ray, of Brick, which runs theater excursion tours from Ocean and Monmouth counties to New York City.
New Jersey’s 21 county vocational-technical school districts each recognize an outstanding business partner annually.
Scott Moffitt, president of the New Jersey Council of County Vocational Technical Schools, said the key to successful career and technical education is the active involvement of business and industry representatives.
“Businesses need to create a technically trained workforce for the future. Students need to see real pathways for success in their chosen fields. Bringing the two together in a committed process requires significant effort, and the business partners we honor this year demonstrate that,” Moffitt said.