NJBIZ Recognizes Educators for Their Leadership during a Pandemic

Dr. Anthony Iacono PortraitCounty College of Morris (CCM) President Anthony J. Iacono recently was named to the 2020 NJBIZ Education Power 50 list, which this year is recognizing the leadership of educators during the COVID-19 pandemic and their roles in economic recovery. This is the second consecutive year that Iacono has been named to the NJBIZ Education Power 50 list.

“It’s an honor and also humbling to be named to this list, which includes so many outstanding educational leaders in New Jersey,” said Iacono. “Being named to the Education Power 50 list testifies to all the great work, of the entire CCM community, to provide pathways for individuals to realize their dreams and develop the partnerships to strengthen our communities.”

Appointed CCM’s third president in 2016, Iacono has focused on establishing the college as a community partner to provide diverse populations with access to a high-quality education, to build healthy and prosperous communities, and to meet the employment needs of business and industry.

Offering Assistance to Ease the Impact of COVID-19

When the COVID-19 pandemic reached New Jersey last March, forcing most businesses and all schools, colleges and universities to close their doors, CCM sprang into action. The campus served as a COVID-19 Testing Center, operated by Morris County and Atlantic Health System. The testing site, which operated on the campus from March 30 to June 26, provided nasal swab tests for more than 8,000 people from Morris and Sussex counties during its course of operations.

As COVID-19 cases increased placing a strain on Morristown Medical Center, CCM quickly took an inventory and rounded up equipment that could help. It lent five ventilators, which were then in critical shortage, and donated 325 N95 masks and 3,000 gloves to ease the burden placed on healthcare workers.

In response to pandemic hardships, CCM hosted two Table of Hope food distribution events on its campus. The first was held in March and the second one took place in August and also included the distribution of backpacks filled with school supplies.

Throughout the pandemic, CCM faculty, students, staff and graduates responded by working or volunteering on the front lines and supporting essential workers by providing them with face masks, face shields and food, as they also moved and adjusted to a virtual teaching and learning environment.

Dover College Promise

Under Iacono’s leadership, the college this year launched Dover College Promise (DCP), supported with an $110,000 grant from Impact 100 Garden State. DCP, in conjunction with The Educational Center in Dover, will provide low-income middle and high school students in the community with college readiness training and support. Participants who graduate from high school in good standing also will receive scholarships to attend CCM.

The project builds upon CCM’s mission to provide exceptional and inclusive programs and services to the larger community. It also stems from the college’s Dover Initiative that CCM launched in 2019 to learn how it can better serve that community.

In recognition of the college’s programs to bring services and resources to diverse populations, Iacono earlier this year received the inaugural S.H.I.N.E. (Serves, Helps, Inspires, Nurtures and Excel) award from Child & Family Resources of Morris County.

The Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Center

To address the need for skilled employees in both the county and state, CCM has constructed an Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Center (AMEC), which opened this Fall Semester.

With funding and support from the state, the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders and local businesses, AMEC was constructed to provide a pipeline of new employees and to update the skills of current employees.

In recognition of the college’s leadership, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded CCM a $4 million four-year grant to provide a model for the expansion of apprenticeship programs in advanced manufacturing. Those programs began this Fall Semester.