The Town-Tech Program was developed in 1991-92 as a partnership between Portland High School, and the Town of Portland. It was designed to provide a situation where students could participate in town government while completing projects that would save the town money. Since its inception, the program has grown in number and much recognition and respect has been gained. Together with David Kuzminski, advisor for the Town of Portland, and Ed Yush, advisor for Portland High School, Town-Tech has continued to skillfully work on projects for the town in addition to expanding horizons in technology and communications. Several Town-Tech students and other Portland High students, along with government officials, have created the new public access program, Portland On the Move. Each show highlights a different aspect of the Town of Portland, with shows already airing showcasing the police and fire departments, the Portland Library, and the Water Department's Conservation Outreach Program. Guests on the show have included Connecticut's Commisioner of Public Safety, Dr. Henry Lee, Massachusett's Head of Forensics, Dr. Carl Salavka, Senator Eileen Daily, Rep. Jim O'Rourke, Sgt. Dapkus, Officer Paranzino, Laural Goodgion, Fire Chief Dave Powers, and Deputy Fire Chief Robert Petzold. The show not only intends to reemphasize the relationship between students and the town, but allows students to take an active role in the managing, writing and production of a television show. The show also has allowed the town to develop a relationship with Comcast. The Town-Tech Program has proven to be beneficial to all those involved. It has allowed students an opportunity to work in the "real world" on actual town projects. In return, the students have aided the town by completing projects that would have been difficult for the town to finish otherwise. The past success of this program has been tremendous and we look forward to be-coming more and more involved in the town's activities.
Here are some of the unique opportunities offered to students involved in the Town-Tech Educational Partnership Program:
- Gives the students the opportunity to discover the complexities of Town Government, which has become part of a highly technical world.
- Gives the students the opportunity to work independently in a governmental setting relating to specific assigned town projects, with minimal supervision.
- Promotes participation in projects from concept to completion, building confidence and self-esteem.
- Gives the students the experience of data and informational processing requirements while providing exposure to Federal, State, and Local regulatory bodies which govern how a project is organized and completed.
Students participate in projects throughout the entire school year and in the summer. The opportunities for the program run the gamut of the Town Government spectrum and are only limited by the number of students available.