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Bond Commission OKs $3.5M to Aid Vinal, Other State Technical Schools

The State Board of Education also approved appointments to a new Technical Governing Board

 

Vinal Technical High School in Middletown will benefit from the State Bond Commission vote Wednesday on a $3.5 million allocation to upgrade and modernize academic and trade equipment throughout the state's technical high school system.

The bond funding will be allocated to individual schools based on the system’s capital equipment and improvement plan, which was approved by the Connecticut State Board of Education in May. The plan prioritizes key investments throughout the system in areas such as trade and academic equipment purchases, expansion of manufacturing programming, and technology and infrastructure improvements.

“On my Jobs Tour last year, I heard time and again from employers about the need for skilled labor, particularly in precision manufacturing,” Malloy said.  “At a time when many of our residents are looking for work, it’s frustrating to know that positions are available, but we don’t always have the workforce necessary to fill them. 

"The funding we are allocating to Connecticut’s technical schools will help students learn the latest techniques on the newest equipment so they can have the opportunity to fill some of these open positions and secure a good paying job with good benefits.”

Connecticut Department of Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor said, “As a high-quality public school option for students in Connecticut, technical high schools provide coursework and training that helps graduates compete in our global economy.  These investments will add to the momentum created by reforms in the Governor’s education package that establish a new model for technical school governance and strengthen the pipeline to Connecticut’s leading employers.”

In addition, the Connecticut State Board of Education, at its monthly meeting held earlier today at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, approved a resolution recommending the following appointments:

  • Susan Davis – President and Chief Executive Officer, St. Vincent’s Health Services and Medical Center
  • Fitz Walker – President and Chief Executive Officer, Bartron Manufacturing
  • John Barrasso – Executive Vice President, Mechanical Contractors Association
  • Stephan Bundschu – Vice President of Manufacturing and Engineering, Trumpf, Inc.
  • Patricia Keavney-Maruca – current State Board of Education member, former department head and teacher in technical school
  • Matthew Nemerson – President and Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Technology Council
  • Dr. Lillian Ortiz – Dean of Student Services, Naugatuck Valley Community College
  • Robert Trefry – former Chief Executive Officer of Bridgeport Hospital, former state-appointed Chair of Bridgeport Board of Education
  • Joseph Vrabely, Jr. – President of Atlantic Steel & Processing, LLC, current State Board member, chair of Board’s technical high school committee

Public Act 12-116, An Act Concerning Educational Reform, calls for the technical high school system governance to transfer to an independent, 11-member board dedicated solely to its operation.  The new board will direct system policies designed to tailor programming to the needs of employers and better prepare graduates for real-world employment. 

It is comprised of four executives of Connecticut-based employers nominated by the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission and appointed by the Governor; five members appointed by the State Board of Education; the Commissioner of the Department of Economic & Community Development; and the Commissioner of the Department of Labor. 

Malloy will appoint the board’s chair, who will also serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member of the State Board of Education.

Connecticut’s technical high school system currently operates 16 degree-granting technical high schools, one technical education center, and two aviation maintenance programs serving approximately 11,200 full-time high school and adult day students, with comprehensive education and training in 36 occupational areas and 2,000 apprenticeship students.

High school students receive a college preparatory curriculum and earn a Connecticut high school diploma as well as a certificate in a specific trade technology.

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