The last few weeks have brought good news on three fronts for high school and college students in Hartford.
At the end of May, Capital Community College (CCC) and The Hartford Financial Services Group announced a ground-breaking new partnership to put young people on the path to well-paying jobs right after graduation. The Hartford launched an Apprenticeship Program, where, beginning this year, a group of CCC students will spend two years in part-time work in the company’s Claims department. Students will be paid $15 an hour. They will learn about the insurance industry and get basic workplace training that will help them regardless of what their interests are.
At the announcement event, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said, “I’m so excited for the students who are here. I look forward to coming back in years ahead and seeing the entire room filled with the students who are in the Apprenticeship class. And we also look forward to taking this on the road and talking with companies all around Hartford, all around Greater Hartford, and all around the State as a model of what can be done to invest in our people and invest in the workforce of the future.”
After students graduate from CCC, they will be placed into full-time, career-path jobs at The Hartford, earning about $45,000 a year. The Hartford is launching this program in only two cities in the country, Hartford and Tempe, Arizona.
Another group, Hartford Promise, awarded scholarships of up to $20,000 to 113 graduating seniors in Hartford public high schools. Hartford Promise launched in 2015, and since then it has been providing “last dollar” scholarships to Hartford residents, which bridge the gap between other forms of financial aid and the full amount students need to attend college. It’s funded by several private individuals, companies, and charities.
The minimum entry requirements for Hartford Promise Scholars are high. Students have to have attendance records of at least 93% throughout high school, and their cumulative grade point average has to be at least 3.0. Even with those high standards, those 113 students represent 15% of all high school seniors in Hartford. Sixty five percent of the students will be the first member of their family to attend college.
At an event celebrating the scholars, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, Hartford Public Schools Superintendent Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, Board of Education Chairman Craig Stallings, and City Council President Thomas “T.J.” Clarke praised their dedication and encouraged them to continue working hard.
Throughout the Spring, 125 juniors and seniors at Hartford public high schools completed 60 hours of paid internships each as part of the Hartford Student Internship Program (HSIP), which operates thanks to Hartford Public Schools, Capital Workforce Partners, the City of Hartford, and groups. Since 2015, HSIP has placed more than 500 students in internships at companies and organizations like UCONN Medical Center, Real Artways, Aetna, Northeast Utilities and the Hartford Public Library.
In addition to internships, students get prepared for the workforce through mock interviews, resume development, and financial literacy and workplace etiquette training.
Each of these initiatives, The Hartford’s Apprenticeships Program, Hartford Promise, and the Hartford Student Internship Program, will continue next year and in years to come.