PARAMUS, NJ – For its commitment to supporting economic development, preparing students for the workforce and impacting the region’s quality of life, Bergen Community College has earned a “New Good Neighbor Award” from the New Jersey Business and Industry Association.

“Community colleges respond to the needs of the residents they serve,” Bergen President Michael D. Redmond, Ph.D., said. “The region’s only Health Professions Integrated Teaching Center enables practice-based learning that prepares our graduates to enter the workforce and contribute to the overall health and wellness of Bergen County. We are proud of this recognition of our commitment to Bergen County by the New Jersey Business and Industry Association.”

As part of the business association’s 58th annual installment of the awards program, the group honored representatives from each organization July 17 at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden. According to the association, the 14 construction projects recognized created 5,924 jobs and featured $720 million in capital investment. Bergen represents the only community college to earn the award this year.

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The Health Professions Integrated Teaching Center includes labs and classrooms for nine health professions degree/certificate programs and seven non-credit credential health professions programs. The 62,000 square foot center is the first of its kind in the region and is the result of grants from the State of NJ and Bergen County. The $25.5 million Center opened in 2016 as the College’s project through the voter-approved “Building Our Future Bond Act” referendum.

The facility features simulation laboratories and SMART classrooms to enhance the learning experience, preparing students with the advanced skills needed to succeed in today’s evolving healthcare labor market. A first floor, 24-chair dental hygiene clinic allows students to complete 600 hours of clinical practice and also provides the local community with a low-cost oral healthcare option.

With six hospitals and more than 70,000 jobs, healthcare represents Bergen County’s top workforce cluster. The College’s degree and certificate programs in fields such as diagnostic medical sonography, medical coding and billing specialist and nursing currently enroll more than 1,000 students and offer a direct pipeline to industry.

RSC Architects and Benjamin R. Harvey oversaw the design and construction of the facility. Bob Florio, of J B Dental Services, Inc., nominated Bergen for the New Good Neighbor Award.

Bergen Community College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.