Hunterdon County’s Hazardous Waste Clean Up Day Returns to Hunterdon County

Hunterdon County’s Hazardous Waste Clean Up Day Returns to Hunterdon CountyHazardous Waste Clean-up Day

http://www.co.hunterdon.nj.us/recycling/cleanup.html

Saturdays:
November 18, 2017
March 10, 2018

EVENTS ARE HELD RAIN OR SHINE
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
314 State Route 12, Hunterdon County Complex, Flemington, NJ 08822
Directions

NO PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED

CONTACT US:
EMAIL: swrs@co.hunterdon.nj.us    |   PHONE: 908-788-1110    |   FAX: 908-782-7510
OFFICE HOURS: 8:00 am and 4:30 pm


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RVCC recognized as diversity leader for fourth year

RVCC recognized as diversity leader for fourth year

Reposted from NJ.com

BRANCHBURG — Raritan Valley Community College was recognized in 2012 for excellence in diversity initiatives for the first time, but not the last.

2017 marked the college’s fourth year of being honored with the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, a diversity-focused publication in higher education.

The award is a national honor which recognizes the nation’s college and universities that demonstrates commitment to diversity and inclusion. Some 80 schools were chosen as recipients, with RVCC being the only New Jersey college to be honored.

Richeleen Dashield, dean of Multicultural Affairs, said it’s an honor to be recognized as a national leader in diversity efforts.

“We’re excited because it’s our fourth year we received the award, and I think for us in particular it really recommits us back to providing access in terms of education opportunities,” she said.

She pointed to outreach initiatives the colleges completes with middle and high school students in Somerset and Hunterdon counties, including the Paul Robeson Institute for Leadership and Sanofi Corporate Mentor Program, dedicated to helping first-generation and underrepresented students.

20 school districts with the biggest demographic changes

20 school districts with the biggest demographic changes

In 1998, if you picked two random students out of the student body, the chances of the pair being the same racial and ethnic category were 42 percent. Today, they’d be 31 percent.

The college is also proud of its number of diverse student clubs and organization, comprised of Black Student Allicance, Orgullo Latino, Filipino PEACE, Muslim Student Association and others, she said.

In the future, the college is looking to embark on a revaluation of mission values and strategic plans, looking at past practices and policies, she said.

“For us, the HEED award encourages us to do more of what we’ve already done,” Dashield noted, focusing on an increased initiative on mentorshop programs for first-generation and underrepresented students with pharmacy companies.

Academically, the 49-year old college has partnerships encouraging high school students to take college classes to prepare them for their future transition, Dashield said.

The campus is trying extremely hard to increase services and teaching for its students and provide them with quality, affordable education, she said.

The school has also been responsive to increasing diversity on campus, a key to being a pioneer in inclusiveness.

“The enrollment reflects that 41 percent of our students are students of color and it has increased substantially over the years,” she said.

RVCC, a two-year public community college, offers associate degree programs to students, who then pursue bachelor degrees at universities including Rutgers, TCNJ, Montclair State University, Cornell and University of Pennsylvania.

“They really have expanded across the country to competitive local schools. Students have just been exceptional in the terms of opportunities they’ve had,” she said.

Dashield, who’s worked at RVCC for seven years and spent 27 years working in higher education, said the community college has been one of her favorite places to work.

“Raritan students are the most exceptional because they’re so open to engaging and exploring possibilities you provide them with and they get excited to apply them in the classroom,” she said.


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N.J.’s Hunterdon County has the second-highest net worth in the U.S., study finds

N.J.’s Hunterdon County has the second-highest net worth in the U.S., study finds

 

Reposted from NJBIZ

Northwestern counties in New Jersey have some of the highest net worths in the state — and the country — according to a study released by financial technology company SmartAsset.

Hunterdon County led the state with an average net worth of $159,394, finishing with the highest mark in the state, based on SmartAsset’s index of net worth, and the second-highest mark in the nation. It trailed only Sumter County in Florida, thanks to residents having more than three times the county’s average income of $51,353.

Sussex County was second-highest in the state. Its average net worth of $97,682 was a significant downstep from the No. 1 spot, but it fared well in the index due to more favorable net worth percentages of income and debt.

Of New Jersey’s 21 counties, five of them were in the national Top 20 for highest net worth: Hunterdon, Sussex (8th), Somerset (14th), Morris (18th) and Ocean (19th).

SmartAsset created an index for measuring net worth by comparing average income, average debt, net worth as percentage of income and net worth as percentage of debt.

Hudson, Essex and Passaic counties made up the bottom of the list.

For more on the study, click here.

Rank County Income Debt Net Worth Net Worth as % of Income Net Worth as % of Debt Highest Net Worth Index
1 Hunterdon, NJ $51,353 $71,652 $159,394 310.4% 222.5% 78.70
2 Sussex, NJ $38,810 $55,567 $97,682 251.7% 175.8% 62.41
3 Somerset, NJ $48,791 $70,856 $114,736 235.2% 161.9% 57.75
4 Morris, NJ $49,552 $69,461 $113,693 229.4% 163.7% 56.73
5 Ocean, NJ $31,200 $44,424 $71,490 229.1% 160.9% 56.42
6 Burlington, NJ $37,255 $51,703 $75,776 203.4% 146.6% 49.83
7 Monmouth, NJ $43,469 $63,228 $85,201 196.0% 134.8% 47.24
8 Warren, NJ $34,136 $45,182 $64,090 187.8% 141.9% 46.18
9 Gloucester, NJ $34,025 $46,340 $63,420 186.4% 136.9% 45.45
10 Cape May, NJ $33,028 $44,778 $60,260 182.5% 134.6% 44.44
NJ $36,582 $56,420 $54,608 149.3% 96.8%

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Backpack for School

New Jersey’s public schools ranked near the top in the nation

New Jersey’s public schools ranked near the top in the nation

Reposted from NJ.com

New Jersey’s public schools have been ranked second-best in the nation, based on a study by WalletHub that looked at criteria including test scores, student-teacher ratios and graduate rates.

Only Massachusetts, with an overall total score of 78.16, was ahead of the Garden State, whose schools earned a score of 66.92 on WalletHub’s ranking.

Elsewhere in the region, Delaware was found to have the 12th-best public school system among the states, Pennsylvania the 16th-best with New York roughly in the middle of the pack, at 26.

The website asked a panel of academics who specialize in education to assess the states’ elementary and high schools based on factors including the graduation rate among low-income students; median performance on standardized tests including the ACT, SATs and AP exams; and the percentage of students injured or threatened while in school — part of a broad category the survey lists as “safety.”

According to the WalletHub data, New Jersey schools had the second-lowest dropout rate of any state in the country, the fourth-highest math scores and the fifth-highest reading scores. The state also boasts the third-lowest student-to-teacher ratio of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.


 

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Graduating College

Recent college grads are leaving N.J. in record numbers. Here’s why…

Recent college grads are leaving N.J. in record numbers. Here’s why…

Reposted from NJ Advanced Media.com

EDGEWATER — The bed is on an elevated bunk. Below the bed is a desk, dressed with items from college: clothes, books and accessories. The floor is barely visible beneath a slew of still-stuffed bags of clothes.

In 2016, Dina Bardakh, 23, uprooted her life from Hunter College, along with the degree in political science she received, and plopped down inside the 273-square-foot room of her mother’s two-bedroom modest apartment alongside the Hudson River.

A year later Bardakh is still there, in the room she shares with her two teenage sisters.

“I never unpacked,” Bardakh explains. “I never imagined myself back here for as long as I have been. So, what do you do then?”

Bardakh is not the only one asking that question. As another college graduation season comes to an end, and a whole new set of millennials enter the job market, the prospect of recent graduates simply moving out of their parents’ homes is dimmer than ever. According to Census data, 47 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds in New Jersey were still living with their parents in 2015, the highest rate in the country.

The situation shows little sign of improving, either: Data released earlier this month by the National Low Income Housing Coalition says tenants need to make $27.31 an hour, the seventh highest in the country, to afford the average two-bedroom apartment in New Jersey. That makes it virtually impossible for someone making an entry-level salary to afford his or her own place, at least not without teaming up with multiple roommates and/or forgoing other necessities.

Meanwhile, higher education funding has dropped nationwide, including 23 percent in New Jersey from 2008 to 2015. The resulting increased student debt is also keeping many recent grads stuck in their parents’ places.

“It is sort of unprecedented, we would have to go back generations, to come to this situation where grown children live at home to the extent that they are today,” said Dr. James Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.

In recent years, many frustrated college graduates are giving up the promise of adult life in the New York-New Jersey area altogether. According to the 2007-2014 American Community Survey, 111,674 people age 18-34 moved out of New Jersey, the highest number for an age group in the state.

“I was really hopeful when I started going to college,” Bardakh said. “It was New York City, the capital of the world. I thought there was going to be so many opportunities.”

NJ tops nation in number of millennials living with parents

If you’re a parent in New Jersey and your grown children are still living with you, you have a lot of company.

Bardakh’s story is a familiar one for many recent graduates. She started college at LIU-Brooklyn, before transferring to Hunter. Throughout her college years, she worked part-time, whether it was in retail or as a resident assistant to receive free housing.

She did not, however, secure any internships — the cost of college made it impossible to accept wage-free positions during her summers. That, she said, set her back when it came time to compete for entry-level positions.

After graduation last year, she linked up with multiple temporary work agencies and had her resume sent to hundreds of employers. She eventually landed a position at New York Medicaid Choice (MAXIMUS), where she is an enrollment broker for Medicaid and earns $16 an hour, or about $467 a week after taxes.

To get to work, she relies on the (increasingly unreliable) New Jersey Transit system and pays $300 a month. With $25,000 in student loans, her hopes of a settling down in a place of her own in New Jersey with her longtime boyfriend quickly evaporated. (Her student loan payments are currently deferred because of her low salary.)

“It’s not just about taxes. It is about quality of life,” Brandon McKoy, a policy analyst for New Jersey Policy Perspective, a Trenton think tank. “If the state is not going to do its part to invest in things that people care about when it comes to their quality of life, having affordable living, reliable transportation, well paying jobs, good schools, then it is foolish to expect people to stay here, especially young people.”

Solving this problem, however, may be much easier said then done.

According to Hughes, the downward trajectory began with the financial crisis of 2008, the repercussions of which are still being felt by young people.

“That set back many millennials in their economic progression or career trajectory,” he said. “They may have been unemployed for awhile, under employed or coming out of college. They lost several years of earning growth power during that time period.”

This also means young people just getting out of college find themselves this spring now competing for entry-level jobs with people who graduated years earlier.

McKoy said the Garden State is facing an even harsher burden than most states.

“This is definitely a nationwide issue, but New Jersey is a little bit more drastic because it is a very, very expensive place to live, and this is happening at a time where wages are pretty much stagnant and most people in that age range, especially on the lower half, would be working around minimum wage jobs,” he said.

And, says Hughes, “when you have such a powerful trend such as this, there are no silver bullets to change it. At best, some policies could deflect it slightly.”

McKoy and New Jersey Policy Perspective have eyed a minimum wage raise as a potential policy that could help reverse the trend. (The current minimum wage in the state is $8.44, less than a third of what it would take to afford the average two-bedroom apartment.)

“That set back many millennials in their economic progression or career trajectory,” he said. “They may have been unemployed for awhile, under employed or coming out of college. They lost several years of earning growth power during that time period.”

This also means young people just getting out of college find themselves this spring now competing for entry-level jobs with people who graduated years earlier.

McKoy said the Garden State is facing an even harsher burden than most states.

“This is definitely a nationwide issue, but New Jersey is a little bit more drastic because it is a very, very expensive place to live, and this is happening at a time where wages are pretty much stagnant and most people in that age range, especially on the lower half, would be working around minimum wage jobs,” he said.

And, says Hughes, “when you have such a powerful trend such as this, there are no silver bullets to change it. At best, some policies could deflect it slightly.”

McKoy and New Jersey Policy Perspective have eyed a minimum wage raise as a potential policy that could help reverse the trend. (The current minimum wage in the state is $8.44, less than a third of what it would take to afford the average two-bedroom apartment.)

“If you are living at home, living paycheck-to-paycheck, just to live at home, how are you able to do anything that is required to start your adult life?” McKoy asked.

Others consider leaving altogether, either across the border into parts of Pennsylvania that make a commute into New Jersey still plausible, or to a new state entirely.

The Garden State currently ranks last in the country in terms of net migration of millennials, losing 22,000 in 2015, according to the New Jersey Business and Industry Association. By comparison, Pennsylvania gained 19,000 millennials that same year.

But in addition to often disrupting families, mass migration can create what amounts to a kind of cultural and social stagnation that does not auger well for any region.

“To have a whole generation that is unable to engage in risky behavior and unable to engage in innovative behavior is a problem for the future,” says McKoy.

Indeed, Bardakh will be the next to slip across state lines. Her and her boyfriend are moving to Colorado Sept. 1 — a move she said felt right the first step out of the airport.

“As soon as I walked out of the airport, I was like ‘Yes,'” she said. “I made my decision right then and there. I saw the mountains. I breathed the dry air. People consider the skyscrapers (in New York) like landscape and a view. But I am tired. I am there all the time. To me, it represents stress and anxiety. So much stress.”


 

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