Capitol Connection: Businesses & Students Unite in New Hartford

October 6, 2015
Sen. Witkos meets with student recipients of the NHBC scholarship earlier this year.

Sen. Witkos meets with student recipients of the NHBC scholarship earlier this year.

Young people can transform our state. They can create and bolster community programs. They can start their own businesses. They can identify what our community needs most, and bring the change we all seek.

But they need to be empowered to do so.

One organization that has taken leaps and bounds to give students the tools they need to succeed is the New Hartford Business Council (NHBC). Their impressive scholarship program and quickly growing internship program together are providing new opportunities for our kids and putting success in reach for many.

This year the scholarship program awarded two young emerging leaders with $5,000 scholarships. While New Hartford is a small community, clearly its dedication to providing for its students is massive. These scholarships provided each student with almost enough to cover half the annual tuition at the University of Connecticut.

In addition to funding education, the NHBC is promoting collaboration between students and local businesses, to prep students for real world jobs. In 2013, NHBC President Paul Amenta proposed an internship program with Northwestern Regional High School, and NHBC member businesses.

By participating 15 hours over a three month period, students get to immerse themselves in real business environments a few afternoons each week. Participating students get to learn the day to day operation of the business, collaborate directly with business owners, learn about state and local laws businesses must comply with, and make suggestions to businesses on how they think services and new media communication can be improved from their own perspective. Businesses get to help young minds learn about all sorts of industries and gain important career and life skills.

Students not only collaborate with businesses directly in New Hartford, they also have an opportunity to participate with businesses in other parts of the state. For example, one student recently interned via skype, a web camera program, with a speech pathologist located in Berlin, CT.

With 12 students signed up to participate this year already, NHBC is welcoming new businesses to the program to meet the student demand. If you’re a business owner interested in participating, you can contact [email protected] Visit for more information. New Hartford businesses are more than welcome to participate, as well as businesses in other locations throughout the state.

I applaud NHBC for their incredible work with young people in our community. I look forward to watching both their programs grow and can’t wait to see the great things these students accomplish

Sen. Witkos, Senate Minority Leader Pro Tempore, represents the 8th District towns of Avon, Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook, Granby, Hartland, Harwinton, New Hartford, Norfolk, Simsbury and Torrington. For more information visit or