At the Connecticut Learns and Works Conference on May 15, 2015, some of the innovative programs created by the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System (CTHSS) were one of the main focuses of the day. Dr. Nivea L. Torres, CTHSS Superintendent talked about the positive changes being implemented by the statewide system. She stressed that one of the main goals of the system is to transform the CTHSS with innovative program designs that are responsive to Connecticut’s workforce needs, thus positioning the system as a leading force in career technical education.
CTHSS Education Consultants Raymond Mencio and Pat Ciarleglio talked about the E-House program created by the school system six years ago and the only one of its kind in the nation. Designed and built by faculty and students, the E-House ,which incorporates solar photovoltaic, solar thermal systems, geothermal systems, and weatherization/energy efficiency labs, is funded by the state’s two energy funds: the Clean Energy Finance & Investment Authority and the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund. E-Houses have been built in seven Connecticut Technical High Schools with another one to be completed at Kaynor Technical High School in Waterbury by next week. In the near future, all 17 Connecticut Technical High Schools will have E-Houses where students can receive training in the latest “green” technologies.
Mencio and Ciarleglio also discussed the CTHSS’s participation in Project Learning Tree. Managed by the Connecticut Business and Industry Association’s (CBIA) Education Foundation, the project implements Project Learning Tree Curriculum involved with energy efficiency, water quality, environmental quality, and waste and recycling in HVAC, heating and plumbing, carpentry, electrical and bioscience shops at each school. Students conduct related investigations in their schools and develop recommended improvements for their schools. The program is funded by a grant from Eversource and United Illuminating (UI).