SMLR Welcomes Delegates From China, Discuss Vocational Education Training

In yet another effort to advance the world of work, Rutgers SMLR welcomed delegates from the People’s Republic of China on November 16 at the Labor Education Center. The group compared and contrasted China’s Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) with New Jersey’ vocational and technical education. China, which has millions of unemployed workers and the largest TVET in the world, is redeveloping its systems to provide skills that are vital for poverty reduction, economic recovery, and sustainable development.

Above: Jiping Wang, deputy director of the Department of Vocational Education for China, explains China's TVET.
Above: Dean Susan J. Schurman discusses SMLR's opportunities for continuing education. 
Above: Delegates from China honor SMLR with a token of appreciation.
Above: SMLR Dean Susan J. Schurman and Deputy Director of the Department of Vocational Education for China Jiping Wang greet each other.
Above from left: SMLR Ph.D. student Fuxi Wang, Deputy Director of the Department of Vocational Education for China Jiping Wang, and SMLR Labor Studies and Employment Relations Department Chair Adrienne Eaton.

Jiping Wang, deputy director of the Department of Vocational Education for China, led the delegates. His daughter Fuxi Wang, a SMLR Ph.D. student, assisted in organizing the event. Several representatives from SMLR and the state of New Jersey were in attendance.

Mary Ellen Clark, assistant commissioner of workforce development at the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, explained how New Jersey is addressing the state’s high unemployment rate through programs like Jobs4Jersey. The program provides centers and an online job database to help more than 100,000 jobseekers, including many veterans and youths, find employment.

“The state is turning around the workforce through programs that meet employers’ needs and also meet jobseekers where they are physically as well as in their skills,” says Clark.  

Padma Arvind, director of the Healthcare Talent Network (HCTN) discussed how the network is bringing awareness to jobs within the healthcare industry, an increasingly growing sector within the New Jersey. Jeanine Nagrod, executive director of New Jersey Pathways Leading Apprentices to a College Education, spoke about her organization and SMLR’s pathway to a bachelor’s degree—the B.S. program in Labor and Employment Relation. Professor Teresa Boyer, executive director of SMLR’s Center for Women and Work, talked about how the center addresses policies and manages programs to assist women in the workplace.

Following SMLR’s introductions, Jiping Wang gave an overview of China’s educational system, which consists of 1.3 million TVET teachers and 31.5 million students. Wang discussed the country’s long-term plan for educational reform, which includes improving the quality of its educational program. He believes that this will address the country’s need for mass training and technical talents.

“We want to meet the economic and social needs for high quality laborers and let every child develop his or her ability,” says Wang.

Kaifeng Jiang, a fifth year SMLR Ph.D. student, attended the event and found it greatly applicable to his studies. Jiang’s primary research interests are on the effects of human resource management practices on employee, team, and organizational outcomes. “I can see how companies can use training opportunities, like the ones mentioned, within their HR practices. It’s a good way to both retain employees and attract new potential hires.”

“We were very honored to receive this visit from Mr. Wang and his colleagues. Although they came to learn about the vocational education system in the U.S., we were also able to learn about their system. We have much to learn from each other,” says Rutgers SMLR Dean Susan J. Schurman.

Delegates from The People’s Republic of China included:

  • Hangang Bai, associate researcher, Center For Vocational Education
  • Xu Cheng, vice consul, education office, the Consulate General of P.R. China in New York
  • Weiwei Ge, director for teaching and teaching materials, department of vocational & adult education, Ministry Of Education
  • Yamei Hao, director of vocational high schools, department of vocational & adult education, Ministry Of Education
  • Guang Hou, president, Beijing Vocational College of Finance and Commerce
  • Jiping Wang, deputy director-general, department of vocational & adult education, Ministry Of Education, China

Participants from Rutgers included:

  • Padma Arvind, director, Healthcare Talent Network
  • Professor Teresa Boyer, executive director, Center for Women and Work
  • Professor Tracy Chang, SMLR’s director of labor outreach programs
  • Kaifeng Jiang, SMLR Ph.D. student
  • Professor Doug Kruse, director of SMLR’s Ph.D. program
  • Chunyun Li, SMLR Ph.D. student
  • Professor Mingwei Liu, SMLR’s Department of Labor and Employment Relations
  • Jeanine Nagrod, executive director, New Jersey Pathways Leading Apprentices to a College Education
  • Alison Price-Rom, director of the Center for Global Advancement and International Affairs
  • Professor Susan J. Schurman, dean of the School of Management and Labor Relations
  • Professor Paula Voos, SMLR’s director of labor studies and employment relations degree programs
  • Fuxi Wang, SMLR Ph.D. student

Participants from the State of New Jersey included:

  • Mary Ellen Clark, assistant commissioner, workforce development, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development