Economic Development

Why Connecticut Needs P-TECH

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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.

CT Governor Dannel P. Malloy and IBM's Stanley S. Litow Inaugurate State's First P-TECH School. Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy cuts a ribbon at Connecticut’s first IBM-affiliated Norwalk Early College Academy (NECA). The six-year academy -- a collaboration between IBM, Norwalk Public Schools and Norwalk Community College -- formally opened it doors on August 27 with approximately 90 students in Grade 9. Following the IBM P-TECH model, NECA will add one grade each year and ultimately serve grades 9 to 14 and confer both a high school diploma and a no-cost Associates degree in Applied Science. The model will put young adults on the path to a good job. In fact, NECA graduates will be first in line if they choose to apply for jobs at IBM. Each NECA student is being matched with an IBM mentor. IBM is also shaping the curriculum based on real-world jobs.The company is organizing worksite visits, providing speakers, and offering skills-based, paid internships to students so that they can continue the pursuit of education or be ready for the workforce on day-one. Shown from left to right: Karen Amaker, Director of Norwalk Early College Academy; Norwalk, CT Mayor Harry Rilling, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy; and Stanley S. Litow, IBM Vice President of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs and President, IBM Foundation. (Credit: Ari Fishkind for IBM)

CT Governor Dannel P. Malloy and IBM’s Stanley S. Litow Inaugurate State’s First P-TECH School. Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy cuts a ribbon at Connecticut’s first IBM-affiliated Norwalk Early College Academy (NECA). The six-year academy — a collaboration between IBM, Norwalk Public Schools and Norwalk Community College — formally opened it doors on August 27 with approximately 90 students in Grade 9. Following the IBM P-TECH model, NECA will add one grade each year and ultimately serve grades 9 to 14 and confer both a high school diploma and a no-cost Associates degree in Applied Science. The model will put young adults on the path to a good job. In fact, NECA graduates will be first in line if they choose to apply for jobs at IBM. Each NECA student is being matched with an IBM mentor. IBM is also shaping the curriculum based on real-world jobs.The company is organizing worksite visits, providing speakers, and offering skills-based, paid internships to students so that they can continue the pursuit of education or be ready for the workforce on day-one. Shown from left to right: Karen Amaker, Director of Norwalk Early College Academy; Norwalk, CT Mayor Harry Rilling, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy; and Stanley S. Litow, IBM Vice President of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs and President, IBM Foundation. (Credit: Ari Fishkind for IBM)

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.

Related Resources:

Norwalk Early College Academy Celebrates Its Opening with Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

New Norwalk P-TECH Academy Christened by Malloy

Norwalk Early College Academy Is Now in Session

VIDEO: Malloy Announces First CT P-TECH Model School in Norwalk

Gov. Malloy Announces Collaboration with IBM to Launch State’s First
P-TECH Model School in Norwalk

President Obama Visits P-TECH

TIME Magazine: “The School That Will Get You a Job”

The Takeaway (audio program): “The Future of Secondary Education in America?”

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