Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ), together with Rowan University and the Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders, celebrated the groundbreaking of two new construction sites on the Gloucester campus Friday, Sept. 13, unveiling plans for the Rowan Medicine Center and the Economic Development Center.
State and local government officials, administrators, educators and business leaders were joined by college faculty, staff and students to applaud the expanding partnerships that will continue to more closely align education, medicine and business in the South Jersey area. The addition of the new buildings on RCSJ’s Gloucester campus brings together an innovative college, prestigious medical school, labor and commerce resources, and will serve as a catalyst for career development.
“What we are doing is pioneering. There is no other place in the state where a community college has built a medical school on its campus,” stated Senate President Steve Sweeney. “The partnerships that we have created with Rowan University, Rowan College of South Jersey, the county, and the state will benefit not only our students, but the entire region.”
Freeholder Lyman Barnes, liaison to education, agreed. “Constructing these buildings on this campus is a wise investment that will lead to producing a skilled workforce in high demand occupations. The entire community will benefit from the addition of family medicine, pediatrics, a Neuro-Muscular Institute, and the Rowan Integrated Special Needs Center being located here.”
The two-story, 56,545 square-foot Rowan Medicine Center will be an important—and essential—expansion of clinical services and educational opportunities for South Jersey and the entire region. The first floor will house the Rowan Integrated Special Needs (RISN) Center, providing primary and behavioral health care services for individuals with physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities. Along with RISN, the first floor will also offer Rowan Medicine services in family medicine, pediatrics, osteopathic manipulative medicine and pain management.
The second floor will be home to the new campus of the nationally acclaimed Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (RowanSOM). RowanSOM has grown over the past decade increasing its class size to help address the physician shortage predicted for New Jersey and the nation. This new campus on the RCSJ–Gloucester soil is projected to admit its first students in 2021.
“This partnership—between the University, the County and Rowan College—enables us to provide essential clinical services to Gloucester County and allows our School of Osteopathic Medicine to expand at a time when New Jersey is about to face a significant physician shortage,” said Ali A. Houshmand, president of Rowan University. “Ultimately, our goal is to expand our medical and allied health program offerings throughout the entire Rt. 55 corridor.”
“We are excited to welcome Rowan University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine to our campus to train our students,” said Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger. “The demand for health-care workers continues to grow. Expanding opportunity and programs to our residents at Rowan College of South Jersey is always our top goal.”
Economic development for the region will also increase its presence on the RCSJ campus. The one-story, 15,633 square-foot Economic Development Center, slated for completion in September 2020, will house the Gloucester County Department of Economic Development, the Gloucester County Workforce Development Board, the American Job Center of Gloucester County and the Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce.
“This is a new day in economic development, creating employer driven workforce programs, and helping our residents compete in today’s workforce,” said Freeholder Heather Simmons, liaison to the Department of Economic Development. “Bringing our college, our economic development team, workforce training programs and the chamber of commerce together in one building will continue to move our region forward.”
Located within the Economic Development Center will be the County’s Department of Economic Development, whose objective is to foster public/private partnerships in order to expand and attract quality businesses by developing an educated and trained workforce, thus providing employment opportunities for its citizens. The Workforce Development Board will also be on site to help job seekers find employment, while assisting businesses and industry in job growth. Offering free employment seeking services that include career and vocational counseling, job related training, and veteran’s reemployment services, the American Job Center partners with employment services, RCSJ, workforce training and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. With both job seekers and the business industry co-located under one roof, the Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce creates relationships to help grow the community.
“Rowan College of South Jersey’s Gloucester campus is centrally located off Rt. 55 in the heart of Gloucester County. The addition of the Rowan Medicine Center and Economic Development Center brings together all sectors of education, medicine and commerce to our campus,” stated RCSJ President Frederick Keating. “This groundbreaking ceremony confirms a commitment to enhancing health-care and employment opportunities for students and the surrounding South Jersey region. This is an innovative and robust partnership of which all of us here should be proud.”