Middlesex County Administrator John A. Pulomena, Middlesex County Commissioner Director Ronald G. Rios, RWJBarnabas Health President and CEO Mark E. Manigan, Dr. Steven K. Libutti, MD, FACS, Middlesex College President Mark McCormick, Middlesex County Magnet Schools Superintendent Jorge Diaz
(MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ) -- As part of Middlesex County's $25 million investment in the Jack & Sheryl Morris Cancer Center — New Jersey's first freestanding cancer hospital scheduled for completion in late 2024 — Middlesex County and RWJBarnabas Health unveiled the RWJBarnabas Health Workforce Partnership. This partnership aims to create unique educational pathways and curricula for the benefit of Middlesex College and Middlesex County Magnet School students, as well as meet the future workforce needs of the Jack & Sheryl Morris Cancer Center at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and RWJBarnabas Health.
Announced officially to the public, in a press conference held at Middlesex College on October 19, County leadership along with key leaders from RWJBarnabas Health; Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the state’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center; Middlesex College; and Middlesex County Magnet Schools spoke about the long-term economic impact this partnership will have and how it will benefit the region.
Sharing the significance of this partnership, speakers included Middlesex County Commissioner Director Ronald G. Rios; Mark Manigan, President and Chief Executive Officer, RWJBarnabas Health; Dr. Steven K. Libutti, MD, FACS, Director of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Senior Vice President, Oncology Services, RWJBarnabas Health; Middlesex County Commissioner Chanelle Scott McCullum; Middlesex College President Mark McCormick; Middlesex County Magnet Schools Superintendent Jorge Diaz; and Middlesex County Administrator John A. Pulomena.
“The new RWJBarnabas Health Workforce Partnership will create a powerful health and life sciences eco-system right here in Middlesex County,” said Middlesex County Commissioner Director Ronald G. Rios. “We’re making good on our promise that we made in May 2020, to invest in our residents by ensuring they are workforce-ready, and have opportunities for long-term, gainful employment. This partnership will benefit our trusted partners RWJBarnabas Health and the Jack & Sheryl Morris Cancer Center, as well as students from our Middlesex County Magnet Schools and Middlesex College, now and into the future.”
“As an anchor institution, we are committed to creating and sustaining healthy communities throughout New Jersey by providing employment opportunities and supporting local economies,” said RWJBarnabas Health President and Chief Executive Officer Mark E. Manigan. “This partnership will enable us to significantly expand access to healthcare education and workforce development in Middlesex County. Together, we are investing in the long-term well-being of our communities by training the healthcare providers of tomorrow.”
“As chair of the County’s Economic Development Committee, I believe deeply in the power of opportunity and in the connection between a strong education and a vibrant economy. And this partnership is an exciting step toward achieving that goal,” said Middlesex County Commissioner Chanelle Scott McCullum. “Cultivating an effective, robust, and resilient workforce that is prepared for the challenges of today, and of tomorrow, begins with hands-on training; rigorous, innovative curricula; and a supportive environment. I look forward to seeing our students and residents make the most of all of these wonderful opportunities.”
Highlights of the RWJBarnabas Health Workforce Partnership include:
* Three educational tracks including one new one, Sterile Processing Technician, and updates to two existing curricula – Patient Care Technician and Certified Medical Assistant at Middlesex College and the Magnet Schools
* Internships and volunteer opportunities for College and Magnet School students throughout the RWJBarnabas Health system.
* Job placement for College and Magnet School students who obtain a degree or certification.
* Additional resources for workforce development via incumbent worker training and SkillUp™ Middlesex Learning Platform to support upskilling existing RWJBarnabas Health employees.
“Thanks to the generous support and partnership with Middlesex County, we are able to provide training opportunities and education programming that will lead to new career paths for county residents,” said Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Director and RWJBarnabas Health Senior Vice President, Oncology Services, Dr. Steven K. Libutti, MD, FACS. “As New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, it is most appropriate that we provide an environment conducive to the training of the next generation workforce that will help to bring the highest level of cancer care to patients across New Jersey and beyond at the Jack & Sheryl Morris Cancer Center.”
“This strong partnership has led to the development of new educational pipelines where Middlesex County residents will have a unique opportunity to touch the lives of patients from throughout New Jersey and beyond as part of a team of professionals at a world-class healthcare system,” said Middlesex College President Mark McCormick. “On behalf of the students we serve at Middlesex College, I thank Middlesex County, RWJBarnabas Health, the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and the Middlesex County Magnet Schools for their collaboration in this exciting partnership.”
“When we talk about economic development, workforce development is the bedrock,” said Middlesex County Magnet Schools Superintendent Jorge Diaz. “It assures us that the education we are providing will enable our students to become valued talent at prestigious institutions like RWJBarnabas Health and the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Together, we are shaping the future of our community by investing in our most precious resource – our students.”
Consistent with the principles of Destination 2040, the RWJBarnabas Health Workforce Partnership will continue to evolve to meet the growing needs of the life science sector.
Middlesex County is home to numerous Fortune 500 companies, three universities, 19 park systems, and world-class healthcare and research facilities making it one of the nation’s most dynamic regions and a leader in technology, transportation, the arts, and food innovation. As one of the most diverse populations in the country, Middlesex County is home to over 860,000 residents living throughout 25 municipalities. The County's award-winning Middlesex County Magnet Schools system and two-year Middlesex College uphold its position as #1 in the state for best schools, offering secondary and postsecondary education and workforce development programs that create a unique ecosystem in which opportunities abound. Conveniently located between New York and Philadelphia, Middlesex County is a leading destination for businesses and residents alike to live, work, and play – and has been since the 17th century.