Hartford Area Career & Technology Center
At the HACTC, students learn the most important skills that are needed after graduation. Every student that comes to the HACTC learns the mission statement: Respect. Engage. Learn. Work. Serve. Grow. Learning, practicing, and living the mission statement is meaningful and is going to help us a great deal in our after high school life. It’s helpful because it will give us an advantage in our chosen work field and/or college major by helping us learn and apply our skills to pretty much anything. You can’t learn that in a traditional high school classroom.
Before I came to my program, Collision Repair and Refinishing (CRR), I knew pretty much nothing about cars. Since I’ve been here, I’ve learned enough to take my skills out to a body shop or go to college to major in CRR. I also learned more about myself, like how I learn and how I solve problems. Now that I know how I personally learn, I can take that to the classrooms at my high school and take them with me to college.
I have had a great experience at the HACTC working with SkillsUSA. SkillsUSA is an organization that holds competitions for students enrolled in a technical program. There is a competition for every technical program and one is held in each state. I competed in two competitions, the Collision Repair and Refinishing and in Leadership. Out of all the students from Vermont, I won 3rd place (bronze medal) in both. Knowing that I started the school year with no knowledge of cars, I was very surprised and proud that I was able to complete the competitions much less place 3rd in the state. As a senior this year, I am going back to compete.If other students are considering coming to the HACTC, I would definitely recommend it. The HACTC is advantageous to students who are really serious about their future and their career field choices, but when a student comes to the HACTC and does not quite know what they want as a program choice, it is still an advantage for them to be enrolled in a program. Students will still get to experience the real outside world, gain new skills in the program they selected, learn something about themselves and their learning styles, and they can even figure out what they really want to do in the future.