Fairleigh Dickinson University Selected as a Talent Development Center for Retail, Hospitality and Tourism

Teaneck, NJ – Fairleigh Dickinson University has been awarded a $1.2 million grant from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) to oversee the Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Talent Development Center.

"We are honored to be selected as a center of excellence for the retail, hospitality and tourism sector by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development," said FDU President Christopher A. Capuano. “Being the lead agency for the sector allows us to leverage our great relationships to work with employers, educational institutions, workforce investment boards and other stakeholders to build a more skilled and competitive workforce.”

Talent-development grantees
Left to right: Dr. Joseph Tormey, Director of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Fairleigh Dickinson University / Leah Arter, Business Development Administrator, Rowan College at Burlington County / Labor Commissioner Aaron Fichtner, Ph.D. / President Donald Borden, Camden County College / President Fred Keating, Rowan College at Gloucester County

The LWD presented grants to six universities and colleges as the recipients share $8.4 million to oversee the state’s Talent Development Centers. The Talent Development Center’s are tasked with creating innovative career pathways and apprenticeships in the Garden State’s seven key industries. The other institutions include:




Advanced Manufacturing 

Camden County College 

Construction & Utilities 

New Jersey Institute of Technology 

Financial Services  

Rowan College at Gloucester County 

Health Care 

Rutgers University 

Life Sciences 

Rutgers University 

Transportation, Logistics & Distribution  

Rowan College at Burlington County   

“We are excited to be starting the important work of developing new partnerships between industry and the retail, hospitality and tourism workforce. We are proud to be creating more education, training and career opportunities for New Jersey,” said Dr. Joseph Tormey, director of the International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at FDU.

Sandra Bleckman, director of FDU’s Talent Development Center wants all the stakeholders in New Jersey to know that she is ready to deliver expectations of the ’65 by 25 and is currently forming an advisory board. Sandra noted, “I am proud of the work that we are doing with the talent network in our sector and I look forward to continuing that good work with the Talent Development Center.” 

A kick-off event for the Retail Hospitality and Tourism TDC will be forthcoming.

About the Talent Development Centers

The Talent Development Centers were launched by LWD in 2016, with three TDCs --Advanced Manufacturing, Health Care, and Transportation, Logistics & Distribution. The expansion now to seven TDCs comes due to the program’s success.
New Jersey’s Talent Development Centers are part of the ‘65 by 25: Many Paths, One Future’ initiative, working to build a skilled, competitive workforce by helping New Jerseyans find pathways to careers. The ‘65 by 25: Many Paths, One Future’ initiative is a collaborative effort of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the Department of Education, and the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, focused on increasing the percentage of New Jersey adults who have earned an industry-valued post-secondary credential or degree from 50 percent to 65 percent by 2025.