Mercer County Technical Schools & TEC2000 Students Celebrate Achievements

Mercer County Technical Schools & TEC2000 Students Celebrate Achievements

School to Careers Program a 'Win-Win' for Students and Telecommunications Employers

June 7, 2000


Soraya Rodriguez,
(973) 649-2279

Vince Baglivo, DKB and Partners Inc.,
(973) 993-5600

NEWARK, N.J. -- Representatives of Bell Atlantic and the Mercer County Technical Schools, today joined local dignitaries, families and friends in celebrating the achievements and successes of 26 students headed for high tech careers.

Eleven of the students graduated today from TEC2000, a Bell Atlantic sponsored program to help schools throughout New Jersey prepare students for a range of careers that are emerging in the fast-growing telecommunications industry.

Two Mercer County Technical Schools students, Kamil Boczkowski of Hopewell and Michael Kostro of Hamilton, who won gold medals in the recent New Jersey 2000 USA-VICA Leadership and Skills competition, received special honors as part of the celebration. Technical schools from all 21 New Jersey counties sent their best students to the competition held recently in Somerset County, which tests the students ability in a range of areas including, web site design, advertising and interviewing skills.

"The diligence and perseverance of our TEC2000 students, honorees and VICA award-winners has earned them recognition as some of New Jersey's most talented students," said Elric A. Cicchetti, Ed.D., superintendent of the Mercer County Technical Schools. "TEC2000 is a good example of educational institutions and New Jersey's business community working together to train students for meaningful careers in the workforce of the future."

TEC2000 started in 1994 with 12 students at the Ocean County Vocational Technical School in Toms River, N.J. There are now TEC2000 centers throughout the state in Warren, Salem, Burlington, Ocean, Morris, Somerset, Mercer, Hudson, Essex, Cumberland, Passaic and Union counties. TEC2000 graduates have been hired by Bell Atlantic, Sprint, AT&T, and several New Jersey cable television companies as well as smaller networking companies.

Peter J. Ventimiglia, Bell Atlantic's vice president for external affairs, said, TEC2000 is more than a valuable tool for preparing students for careers in the state's booming telecommunications industry. TEC2000 is also an investment in diversity."

"New Jersey has one of the most diverse populations in the nation. With TEC2000 programs in urban, rural and suburban technical schools statewide, Bell Atlantic is creating opportunities for students across the cultural spectrum, and building a workforce that reflects that diversity," he said.

TEC2000 is designed to provide students the basic knowledge and understanding of communications network design, telephone equipment and computer networks, and satellite and wireless communications services. It offers theory and practice in all phases of the industry with career paths leading toward jobs in telecommunications, electronics, data communications, systems test engineering and computer network engineering.

Students in the program work in a hands-on learning lab that includes complete wiring simulations, a "house" and a telephone pole network.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With more than 44 million telephone access lines and more than 20 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.