SCCC’s Optics Technology program receives major state grant

NEWTON. The funds will help expand the program by adding more lab space and technical instruction.

Newton /
| 01 Aug 2022 | 11:21

A state bond act grant will assist Sussex County Community College (SCCC) in expanding its Optics Technology program and add skilled workers to the workforce.

SCCC will use its $862,500 share of the $500 million Round Two of the Securing Our Children’s Future State Bond Act toward a 2,500-square-foot expansion of the Optics Technology Center on the main campus in Newton.

The total cost of the expansion project is $1,150,000.

Jason Fruge, SCCC’s dean of Technical Occupations noted, “This grant is an amazing opportunity for the Optics Technology program and SCCC. The bond act will allow for the expansion to the current home of Optics Technology and provide students with more lab space and further technical instruction on the SCCC campus.”

According to the college, the Optics Technology program lets students get hands-on experience in a growing field. Students will learn about the fabrication and theory behind precision optical components from experts and industry professionals, all while opening pathways to long-term career opportunities.

Graduates of the Optics Technology program can find employment opportunities with major optics manufacturing companies. One such company, Thorlabs, is located locally in Newton, and is one of the world’s largest photonics and optics manufacturer. Thorlabs offers full-time employees 100% reimbursement for tuition and all fees, per an SCCC press release.

Brian Lake, Optics Technology supervisor, added, “The funds we’ve been awarded through the Securing Our Children’s Bond Act allow us to expand our optics manufacturing and education facilities substantially, giving us a new fabrication lab and two dedicated classrooms. The new fabrication lab allows us to include more industry-standard manufacturing methods in our instruction. But most exciting are the new classrooms, which will expand our educational, outreach, and presentational abilities without compromising highly coveted fabrication space.”

For more information about the Optics Technology program at Sussex, visit or reach out to program coordinator Brian Lake at