U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker secured $18 million in federal funding to be used for investments in higher education programs such as cybersecurity, STEM research, entrepreneurship, preapprenticeships in advanced manufacturing and mechatronics, and nursing and medical programs, among others, the senators announced on Monday.

They were joined at the announcement by officials from Kean University and the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities.

Kean received a total of $4.25 million for projects that include a higher education program for middle- and high school students and their families; renovating and expanding the university’s research laboratories and incubator workspaces that are utilized by faculty and by the Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship, a nonprofit research organization located on Kean’s Union campus; and a neighborhood revitalization project in Trenton.

“Kean University, as a shining example of what a pioneering urban research university can do, will be able to provide their students, officials and administrators the support they need to invest in these critical initiatives and higher education programs that will break down barriers of access for students all while making our state of New Jersey more competitive,” Menendez (D-N.J.) said. “This funding will provide faculty with research opportunities and offer students access to hands-on STEM training, while also helping to attract nontraditional students who will benefit from Kean’s pipeline development programs.”

“New Jersey’s colleges and universities are incredible assets that expand opportunity and drive economic progress,” Booker (D-N.J.) said. “This funding provides them vital support as they provide our students the well-rounded education and resources needed to compete in the workforce and realize their potential, and help their communities thrive.”

“Kean University is grateful to Sen. Menendez, Sen. Booker and our other federal lawmakers for supporting projects that advance our mission as New Jersey’s urban research university,” Kean President Lamont Repollet said. “Through their advocacy, Kean received more than $4 million for three important projects that will strengthen the state’s innovation economy, build stronger communities and expand access to higher education for more deserving students. With their support, Kean will continue to make strides in advancing equity, inclusion and academic excellence in higher education.”

“We sincerely thank Sens. Booker and Menendez for securing crucial investments in support of New Jersey’s colleges and universities in the FY 2023 spending bill. These investments will allow our institutions to provide meaningful programs and supports to our students and communities,” Gene Lepore, executive director of NJASCU, said. “The programs funded will yield a broad array of benefits across the state, including equitable access to higher education, workforce pathways, upward socioeconomic mobility for students and families, access to health care, urban revitalization, scientific and technological innovation, and entrepreneurship. The depth and breadth of these benefits reinforce that our colleges and universities serve as economic, social, and cultural anchors in their communities.”

The following is a full list of the FY23 grants to New Jersey institutions of higher education:

  • $3.3 million to Holy Name Hospital to establish a Graduate Medical Education Center;
  • $1.14 million to Seton Hall University to expand and upgrade the Healthcare Simulation Center;
  • $1 million to Kean University Department of Human Resources to establish a university-assisted, two-generation strategy for parents and caregivers of students in Kean University’s pipeline development programs;
  • $1 million to Middlesex College to implement a holistic student support model to improve retention and graduation rates for adult learners, and address equity gaps;
  • $1 million to William Paterson University for scholarships for students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • $960,000 to Stevens Institute of Technology to purchase equipment, computer cluster and a satellite receiving station;
  • $950,650 to Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences for nursing simulation equipment;
  • $782,000 to New Jersey City University to provide equitable access to high-demand online nursing education;
  • $750,000 to Kean University to develop a plan to revitalize the distressed Coalport neighborhood in the city of Trenton;
  • $720,000 to County College of Morris to purchase equipment and create cybersecurity curriculum for the CCM Cybersecurity Center;
  • $650,000 to New Jersey Institute of Technology to develop, implement and test a comprehensive preapprenticeship skill-training program in advanced manufacturing and mechatronics;
  • $650,000 to New Jersey Institute of Technology to develop and implement a Community College Pre-Engineering Network Initiative for four-year university-bound community college students;
  • $640,000 to Monmouth University to develop, educate and accelerate entrepreneurs within Monmouth and Middlesex counties with a particular focus on underserved communities;
  • $632,000 to Seton Hall Law School for community-based reentry and support service; and
  • $140,4800 to Rutgers University – Camden for programming and staffing support for community centers in the city of Camden.

Source: ROI-NJ