The State of Connecticut will open our first P-TECH-model grades 9 to 14 school in Norwalk this September. The six-year Norwalk Early College Academy (NECA) is being developed as a public-private partnership among the Norwalk Public Schools, Norwalk Community College and IBM, and will graduate students with both a high school diploma and a free Associate in Applied Science degree. Students at NECA will be paired with an IBM mentor and will be first in line for jobs at IBM upon graduation.
NECA will be only the first of many planned P-TECH schools across the state – each school partnered with one of Connecticut’s growth employers in such industries as advanced manufacturing, biotech, health care and insurance. As I mentioned in this
year’s State of the State address, these innovative P-TECH schools will play a critical
role in keeping Connecticut at the forefront in public education as they help to ensure
that our young people are prepared for the successful pursuit of higher education and meaningful careers.
Norwalk Early College Academy (NECA) will be an open admissions school for young people interested in pursing careers in technology. Students will follow a curriculum developed jointly among the Norwalk Public Schools, Norwalk Community College and IBM. This course of study – along with mentoring, workplace learning, job shadowing and internships – will provide students with the skills they’ll need to succeed in growth careers in technology.
Connecticut has a long history at the leading edge of industry, and has reinvented itself as global markets have evolved. In the present day and for the foreseeable future, education must be the focus of our reinvention if we are to attract and retain the world’s most desired employers. Our state already boasts a veritable “Who’s Who” of innovative companies, and the IBM-model P-TECH schools – along with our Transform CSCU 2020 initiative to develop a world-class state college and university system – will help Connecticut prepare our students with the skills and foundation to meet industry needs, and thus keep good jobs here at home.
NECA and our future P-TECH-model schools could not exist without partnerships among school districts, higher education providers and corporate sponsors. Together, these three sectors can overcome what no single sector can tackle alone: connecting people to jobs through education that’s both academically rigorous and economically relevant. Working together, we can make the best use of Connecticut’s many resources to help ensure a brighter future for our citizens.
Hon. Dannel P. Malloy is Governor of Connecticut.