Lawmakers tour Norwalk H.S.'s Early College Academy program

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NORWALK -

State lawmakers were in Norwalk Tuesday to learn about a program that could bring more jobs to Connecticut.

State lawmakers got a tour of the program at Norwalk High School that allows students to take both high school and college courses at the same time.

The program is called the Norwalk Early College Academy.

The program allows students to specialize in several job areas.

"Students are graduating within a six-year time frame from high school and college, and they're going into the workforce ready to work," says Karen Amaker, of the Norwalk Early College Academy.

On top of earning two degrees, students can also work at IBM.

"I was very interested in the technical side of things, and then I was also knew that it was just a great opportunity, getting a degree for free," says NECA student Bridget Arcoite.

Currently, there are only a handful of Early College Academies in Connecticut, but organizers say they want to expand.

Lawmakers listened to a plea for money to expand the program statewide before heading back to Hartford to face another budget crisis.

State Rep Gail Lavielle says this is an investment that will pay off in new jobs and new tax dollars.

"See if there isn't some state funding that exists right now that is being applied to something else that would be better applied to this," says Lavielle.

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