By: Russell Swanson, Exec. Dir., VDID, Main Street Vineland
I’ve said for years that Vineland—it’s downtown and the entire city—can benefit from an educated workforce that has the incentives necessary to stay here and live here.
That’s why I was so heartened to hear talking points coming out of the recent ceremony celebrating the joining of Cumberland County College and Rowan College at Gloucester County. It was emphasized how this new college—smoothing the transition to a four-year college—would make it easier for students to achieve graduate level status. With parallel growth in the medical field by Inspira Health and in other fields by other companies, it would be a key in keeping our graduates from leaving the area.
This plays into my feelings about what can most benefit this area—and be a boon for the continued development of The Ave:
• We need a skilled, competitive workforce educated to meet the demands of these times. This means more than an Associate degree. It means, at least, Bachelor’s degree, preferably working toward a Master’s degree. We need more graduates in the professions. While we’re at it, we need more students to go into the trades, as well. That is what the Cumberland County Technical Education Center—known to many as CCTEC—does so well. And going back to the basics of education, let’s also give a “shout-out” to the work done by the Vineland Public Schools in preparing students for a higher education.
• We need housing to accommodate this burgeoning workforce. For too long, housing for these up-and-coming millennials could only be found out of town. So, that’s where these people will go—with their talents, money, and business. We have the means here to accommodate them—with good second- and third-story housing and strategically placed apartment developments—to keep the talent we educate here to live here, work here, shop here, dine here, entertain themselves here, and enjoy themselves here.
When you think of the potential here, you see how the mindset expressed by the leaders of the new Rowan College of South Jersey is just what this area needs. For a long time, we’ve heard the complaint that we live in a depressed area. What will hopefully come out of this new college—a developed Route 55 education/medical corridor leading from Gloucester County right down to Vineland—can spread right down Landis Avenue and bring new glory to The Ave.
Don’t forget to come down this Friday, July 12, for the third week of Play Streets, which returns to Vineland for the second consecutive year. This is a collaboration with the Vineland Community Policing, as well as many other civic and non-profit organizations, along with Main Street Vineland. It will continue on Friday, July 19 and 26. One block of Sixth Street—from Landis Avenue to Elmer Street—will be closed off to traffic and will provide a place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., for youngsters to engage in games, projects, health-related activities, and other ways to get them outside and engaged in constructive activities. Among the participating organizations are the Vineland Health Department, Vineland Municipal/City of Vineland, Daniel’s Den, and the Vineland Police Department.
You’ll want to come hungry on Sunday, August 25 for our third annual Food Truck Festival on The Ave. This mega-event take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., rain or shine, at Landis Avenue and the Boulevard and will feature approximately 20 food trucks, a beer tent, and continuous entertainment and activities for all ages—including Yoga in the Park with Peace Love Yoga. Members 1st of NJ Federal Credit Union will be the major sponsor. Newfield National Bank will be the Entertainment Sponsor, and Little Lamb Preschool and Lidl will be the Kids Corner Sponsors. Further sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact the Main Street Vineland office for more information. n
This is all the more reason to make The Ave your destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment needs. Save money on gasoline, avoid the long lines at the big-box stores, malls, and shopping centers, and take in the rich variety of fun things to do—right in your own backyard. n
For more information on Main Street Vineland, call 856-794-8653, visit TheAve.biz or check them out on Facebook. You can also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.