The Business & State Participants

With CBIA taking the lead, the Connecticut State Scholars program is a collaborative partnership among the following: Office of the Governor; the state Departments of Education and High Education; the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce; The Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce; The United Illuminating Company; GE Commercial Finance; Dow Chemical Company; The Bilco Company; and the Housatonic Valley Economic Development Partnership.

This initiative could not be possible without the support and encouragement of the business community. The Connecticut State Scholars program is unique because business leaders deliver the message directly to the students that high school coursework does matter to their future academic, career and business success. Roger Joyce, vice president with The Bilco Company, is the corporate spokesperson for the New Haven initiative. Joyce also serves on CBIA’s Board of Directors.

“During the next three years, the state Department of Higher Education
will work with the public colleges and universities to make the strong
educational core proposed by the Connecticut State Scholars program the
norm for admission into Connecticut’s four-year institutions and the
recommendation for college success for all high school graduates who
enter our colleges.”

Dr. Valerie Lewis
Dept. of Higher Education Commissioner

Cristina Harter, chief capitol markets officer for GE Vendor Financial Services is helping to spearhead the Danbury initiative.

In the past, both of these companies have participated in projects supporting students and educators alike. GE’s participation has ranged from having mentors in the schools (through Danbury Schools and Business Collaborative); teaching Junior Achievement classes in the elementary and middle schools; and hosting job shadow events with area high schools. They have also supported tutoring and writing programs in local nonprofit organizations; and supported both reading and science programs financially and with volunteers at Roberts Avenue Elementary school in Danbury. Employees have also served on the United Way Community Impact Committee on Early Child Care and Education. For additional details on GE schools initiatives, please visit their Web site at

The Bilco Company has a number of educational programs for students, including but not limited to, participation in School-to-Career activities; mentoring area students; and welcoming students and their teachers to the facility for company visits.

You can help

If your company has ties to the New Haven or Danbury areas, and you’d like to help improve education in those areas, give us a call. The Connecticut State Scholars program can provide you with the training and implementation materials you’ll need to successfully promote the program.