NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) — A big part of E.C. Goodwin Technical High school is the opportunities for students to participate in work-based learning, and the COVID-19 pandemic is not slowing them down.

When students reach their junior and senior years, they’re able to go out in the field and work the job.  

Since the pandemic began last spring, technical high schools in the state like Goodwin have tried to place as many students as possible in work-based learning as soon as this school year began.

For junior student Romeo Rich, he was able to start his work-based learning a little earlier because of the pandemic. He tells News 8 he was able to be placed with DYNA Electric on June 1, a few months earlier than normal.  

Chris Cyr is the president of the company and says, “For someone like Romeo, he can get his license by the time he’s 22-years-old and be making really good money without student loans.” 

Cyr graduated high school and attended college for a few years before decided to change directions and pursue electrical. He says students in technical high schools have a huge advantage with their ability to get the learning and hours necessary for a license.  

Another student works with Absolute Fire Sprinklers twice a week. Steven Colapietro is the owner and tells us, “we get these kids out here that learn the trade right away.”  

Colapietro says his company has worked with tech students for about 25 years and says the experience and opportunity to get a jump start on the trade is unmatched.  

Michael Scott is a plumbing instructor at the technical school and says, “Theres only so much we can simulate in the classroom.”  

When the students spend their time in their trade classrooms, it’s very hands-on. Even so, Scott says it doesn’t fully compare, “Nothing comes close to actually being on a job site actually installing, seeing it on a day-to_day basis.”  

Ron Murray is the electrical instructor, he’s been with the school for almost a decade. He says the instructors were concerned that with the pandemic the students would miss the opportunity to take part in work-based learning, “No matter what they need to have the hands-on, it was a worry but it’s working out well right now.”