Crisco advocates for vo-tech system

Joseph Crisco

HARTFORD — State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr. (D-17) recently spoke before a task force to advocate for the state’s vocational and technical high schools.

The task force was convened earlier this year with the primary objectives of maintaining and strengthening the existing regional vocational and technical school system and developing stronger ties between regional vocational and technical schools and nearby community-technical colleges.

“The vo/tech high school system continues to be a key factor in Connecticut’s economic development and will play a vital role in our state’s complete recovery from this economic downturn,” Crisco said during a recent testimony before the task force. “Its apprenticeships, internships, and job-training programs repeatedly provide employers and prospective employers with a highly qualified and experienced workforce.”

Two of the state’s 20 vocational and technical high schools are in Crisco’s district — Emmett O’Brien Technical High School in Ansonia and Eli Whitney Technical High School in Hamden.

Crisco said, according to a news release issued by his office, state funding appropriated for vocational and technical schools must be delivered, because the return on investment is irrefutable.

“Beyond the bricks and mortar construction and maintenance of our vo/tech schools, which cannot be overlooked or shortchanged, and adequate supplies for labs and workshops, it’s vitally important for these students to be trained on modern equipment with access to the latest information and technology,” Crisco said. “Those who fill tomorrow’s jobs must not be brought up using yesterday’s standards. If Connecticut is to compete for those jobs in the 21st century these schools will have to prepare them to step into them seamlessly.”

Crisco added recent legislation has improved the vocational and technical high school system at the state level in terms of administration and budgeting and at the local level in terms of staffing and transportation. The task force is required to complete its report to the General Assembly by Jan.15, according to the release.