Donald M. Payne Sr. Vocational Technical School, Newark (2019 NJBIA New Good Neighbor Award Winner)

Well, first of all, welcome to Essex
county, the Donald Payne School of Technology, which we’re very proud of.
This was in the makings for over 20 years. What was in this particular
site was United Hospital. It was abandoned for 20 years. It was owned by a
private owner plus with the county, but we never came together so we came up
this about putting a school here about consolidating our two schools, having
them come together and build a state-of-the-art facilities, because the
other two facilities were built in 1928 and 1930. They were just outdated, the
curriculum was outdated and our kids are doing very, very well so we want to give
them nothing but the best. Well, one of the things that we’re proud
about, first of all, it’s named after the first African-American congressman who
really embodied just his worldly nature. He didn’t care just about, even though he
was from Newark, he was bigger than Newark and translated to the whole world.
So that’s why we there’s a very global aspect to our school that we’re very
proud of, but in addition to some of the traditional areas of vocational training,
we have some some high tech levels as well. So we have culinary arts, we have
cosmetology we have building trades which cover masonry, carpentry,
electrician and plumbing, but we also have law and Public Safety, we have our
own courtroom, we have a robotics lab, we have an engineering lab, we have our own
greenhouse management, we have a greenhouse on the roof where our
students will plant certain herbs and spices that we use down in our own
culinary department, we have a full restaurant that our students run. So
we’re very, very proud of all of those features. The parents and the kids love
it, they’re very proud. If you look and you walk around you feel like you’re in
a college or university where we’re like a small NJIT
and the kids appreciate that. The parents appreciate it. Just
walking through our lobbies and walking through our different classrooms, there’s
a sense of pride for all of us, the teachers, the parents, the staff, everyone.

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