Skip to main content

$196K Grant Boosts Irvington High School’s Cutting-Edge Fiber Optics Program

Irvington Township

By: Richard L. Smith 

Irvington Township now has a $196K reason to boast that it is at the forefront of technological education, with the launch of a pioneering program that offers students unparalleled access to cutting-edge technology.

Thanks to a recent PACE Grant from the New Jersey Department of Labor, RLS Media has learned that  Irvington High School will host a Fiber Optics Pre-Apprenticeship Program, an initiative that stands out as one of the few of its kind in the state of NJ.AdOfficials told us that the school district was awarded $196,141 in June 2024 for this program, which will commence in the 2024-25 school year.

This grant positions Irvington High School as one of the only high schools in New Jersey to offer such a program, reflecting the district's commitment to providing students with advanced technological education and job-ready skills.

Fiber optics installation is crucial in today's tech-driven world, and this program is designed to meet the increasing demand for skilled technicians.

Irvington Seventeen students at Irvington High School will have the opportunity to participate and receive stipends while enrolled in the course.

Upon completion, they will earn a Fiber Optics Technician certification and be well-prepared to either enter the workforce, pursue further apprenticeship training, or enroll in college.

"Receiving the Department of Labor PACE grant positively impacts our students, manufacturing partners, the college, and the communities we serve," said Dr. April Vauss, Superintendent of Irvington Township Schools.

"Irvington Township Public Schools is grateful to provide students with opportunities to be educated and trained in manufacturing, develop their resumes through apprenticeship programs, and be placed in jobs earning family-sustaining wages. This is great for Irvington Township," Dr. Vauss continued. 


The PACE (Pathways to Career and Education) program is designed to overcome economic barriers that hinder skill development. It provides job readiness, essential skills, and occupation-specific training, along with funding for stipends to offset costs like childcare and transportation.AdAccording to the New Jersey Department of Labor Workforce Development, PACE programs must partner with at least one Registered Apprenticeship program sponsor, expanding career pathways with industry-based training and classroom instruction.

Dr. Vauss emphasized the significant benefits this program brings, stating,

“With these credentials, students will have the ability to earn high-paying jobs in an industry that is rapidly expanding. The benefit is that it gives our students additional options for employment post-high school.”

RLS Media found that this innovative program equips students with valuable skills and supports the broader goals of economic development and community empowerment emphasized by the Honorable Mayor Tony Vauss and Irvington Township Municipal Council.

As the fiber optics industry continues to grow, the students of Irvington High School are poised to become leaders in this critical field, driving both personal and community success.