Dr. Phil Linfante, Chair of the Warren County Community College’s Board of Trustees, and for this past year, Chair of the New Jersey Council of Community Colleges, was recently named by NJBIZ as a member of its annual Education Power 50 list. The list notes the 50 most powerful individuals in New Jersey in education.
“This is a surprise,” said Dr. Linfante, a Hackettstown resident. “My goal has always been to enhance the lives of students. I feel strongly about that. It’s a great honor but I am not looking for any recognition. I just want to do what’s best for education in general, and particularly on the community college level. Community colleges are the unsung heroes of education. What community colleges offer is beyond words for so many people, many of whom attend college who otherwise would not have the opportunity to do so.”
Dr. Linfante, only the second WCCC Chair to head the state council, is also a long-time Professor/Administrator at Essex County Community College.
NJBIZ, New Jersey’s premier business publication, highlighted Dr. Linfante with this description, in part:
“(Dr.) Linfante is the chairman of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges. New Jersey community colleges … received two of the 23 grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor to expand apprenticeships, with a focus on the health care and advanced manufacturing industries. Two Scaling Apprenticeship Through Sector-Based Strategies grants total $16 million and will be used to provide apprenticeships for more than 6,600 individuals and will serve to expand New Jersey community colleges’ efforts to build career pathways that are driven by the needs of the state’s key industries. Fifteen New Jersey community colleges are participating in these grant-funded initiatives…”
Dr. Linfante points out that the NJCCC plays a very important role for the 19 community community colleges, and its students. New Jersey, he states, “currently enrolls 350,000 students a year, the largest sector of higher education in the state” Also, he adds, 45% of all students earning bachelor’s degrees in New Jersey completed courses at community colleges during their academic careers.
At WCCC, Dr. Linfante’s leadership has helped to make the Warren County college nationally recognized for various programs, including VIPER, a program for military veterans that eases credit transfers, the virtual elimination of required remedial education courses, and an expansive drone program. Dr. Linfante is frequently asked to speak at national conferences on numerous educational topics.
“Phil has become a true leader not just here, but throughout the state – and beyond,” said Dr. Will Austin, President of WCCC. “He has goals and is committed to reaching them with the best interests in students above all else. It is not surprising to me that he has been recognized by NJBIZ.”