HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJ - Hunterdon County Vocational School District’s (HCVSD) Polytech Career & Technical High School has put out a call for businesses, non-profits or individuals in need of high-quality design services.

Through the Bridging the Gap program, students in Polytech’s Commercial Arts and Advertising Design classes manage real-world design jobs. The students gain experience applying their time and talents to real-world projects for clients who present them with a variety of design needs. Among the projects Polytech students can take on are website design, illustration, graphic design, social media marketing, art therapy products, pet portraits, fashion, jewelry, tattoo design and more, according to Instructor Teresa Diaz.

Diaz partners with local Rotary clubs each year to run Bridging the Gap. Through the program, the students develop their own businesses as freelance artists/designers before pitching their services to real-world clients. That pitch to potential clients is set to take place this month at a March 29 job fair. Due to COVID-19, clients may choose to attend in-person or virtually within a 9-11 a.m. timeframe.

Sign Up for Flemington/Raritan Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Businesses, nonprofits and individuals interested in interviewing students to discuss their design needs should contact Diaz at tdiaz@hcvsd.org, or by calling 908-788-1119, ext. 2021, by March 8, or as close to that deadline as possible.

Once students are “hired” by a client, they receive mentorship from both Diaz and Rotarians, who help them negotiate reasonable fees for their work, write contracts and meet deadlines.

“Our students have established a reputation for their professionalism and, most importantly, for exceeding their clients’ expectations,” said Diaz. “I hope they can offer affordable assistance this year to any business or individual facing challenges as a result of the pandemic. Students can create new ads to drive business or even help startups with logo designs, packaging and more. They can even help nonprofits brainstorm ways to drive online contributions to their causes, especially since many in-person fundraisers have been canceled.”