In her address, Siekerka highlighted the imminent need for skilled workers prepared for the growing needs of the state’s information technology industry.
“When we look forward for just the next three years, we know that there’s a demand for over 250,000 jobs in these fields,” she said. “We have a great infrastructure in these ecosystems, but if we don’t have the skilled workforce to support it, we can’t be successful.”
But she is optimistic.
“In 2014, New Jersey’s institutions of higher education graduated 900 doctoral degrees in science, engineering and mathematics,” she said. “That’s great and puts us at the top for a highly skilled workforce all across the country.
“We’ve got the best workforce, but we need a heck of a lot more of it in the state of New Jersey and we need to get working on that right now.”
Siekerka listed many of the state’s recent programs, including the creation of the Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences program, the New Jersey Innovation Institute at New Jersey Institute of Technology and the establishment of the South Jersey Tech Park at Rowan University, which, Siekerka noted, houses the world’s first 10-sided virtual reality cave.
“Those are some phenomenal assets to drive innovation in the state of New Jersey,” she said.
Follow Sheldon on Twitter at @SheldonAndrewJ.