Rob Michalik, candidate for the State Senate in the 31st District, highlighted the need to link technical high school education with local employers, while touring the Bristol Technical Education Center on Tuesday, Oct. 21. The tour was led by Joyce Mowrey, the principal of Bristol TEC and was joined by former state Senator Tom Colapietro – a longtime supporter of the school.
“When I speak with our local businesses, they constantly stress the importance of linking the skills taught in the classroom to the jobs that make up our local economy,” said Michalik, who earlier this month toured local manufacturing businesses in Plainville, Bristol, and Plymouth where he touted his plans to bring good-paying jobs to central Connecticut, according to a news release from his election campaign. “With its Work Based Learning program, Bristol TEC provides students with an opportunity for real-world experience on actual job sites with area employers. We need to encourage such business/school partnerships to ensure that our schools are meeting employers’ workforce needs.”
Bristol TEC offers programs in automotive technology, culinary arts, electronics technology, HVAC/R, welding/metal fabrication, and manufacturing technology. Students receive a 10-month intensive technical education that results in certification upon completion. High school juniors and seniors are eligible for the program. These students graduate from their local high school while receiving credits from BTEC toward their diploma.
“Bristol TEC is the only school like it in Connecticut,” added Michalik, reported his news release. “With its 95 percent student placement rate after graduation, the school obviously is doing something right. We should be looking at ways to duplicate that success throughout the state.”
In addition to its WBL program, the release explained BTEC gives students the chance to utilize their trade skills in the local community for a modest fee. For instance, the general public can bring their cars in for repairs at the school’s automotive shop. Additionally, the public can eat lunch at Bristol TEC’s Bristol Bistro, as Michalik did following his tour, said the news release.