NAF, a national education nonprofit that transforms the high school experience, RTX, the world’s largest aerospace and defense company, and Hartford Public Schools unveiled a newly resourced technology lab at Hartford Public High School, the second-oldest public secondary school in the United States. The lab will be used by students in the NAF Academy of Engineering and Green Technology, one of Hartford Public Schools’ Career Pathways run by the dedicated partners at ReadyCT, to help them develop the hands-on skills necessary to become future engineers and innovators.  

“This partnership between RTX, NAF, and Hartford Public School Districts will impact students for generations. When school districts and employers work together to bring real-world opportunities to students of all backgrounds and capabilities, the results can truly be transformative," said Valaida Wynn Guerrero, NAF's Chief Advancement Officer.

Students at HPS will benefit from the tech lab improvements, where they will have access to state-of-the-art career-focused curricula, hands-on learning, and connections to industry professionals like engineers from Pratt and Whitney, an RTX business.  These investments will increase student exposure to new career pathways and prepare future generations of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). 

“This newly-resourced engineering lab is a great example of what we can achieve in service of our beautiful and capable students when we have the support and collaboration from partners - like RTX, NAF, and ReadyCT," said HPS Superintendent, Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez. "Thanks to their support, our graduates will have a leg up on the competition and be better equipped to enter the growing workforce and play a vital role in this in-demand industry.”

There will be a tremendous demand for new engineers in America over the next few years. In fact, roughly 90,000 new engineering jobs will be needed by 2031, focusing on infrastructure development, renewable energy, oil and gas extraction, and robotics.  

The private-public partnership between RTX, NAF, and Hartford Public School District, was formed to help address barriers faced by students who have been historically overlooked and under-invested in by providing high-quality STEM curriculum that is relevant to the local job market; work-based learning opportunities like internships, and mentorship from local STEM professionals. The academy also has plans to offer students opportunities to earn Industry Based Certifications before graduation. 


About NAF
NAF is a national education non-profit that brings schools and businesses together to better prepare students of all backgrounds. Since 1980, NAF has led a movement for immersive, career-focused teaching and work-based learning. With the support of NAF community-based advisory boards, schools connect with the workforce to fuel shared progress—from creating culturally responsive curriculum and paid internship opportunities, to fostering innovation and building future-ready businesses. NAF helps students explore career options, create a plan for the future, and take part in hands-on, work-based learning unlike anything traditional public education systems can offer. NAF puts students on a path to achieving their full potential. 

NAF has grown from one NAF Academy of Finance in New York City to hundreds of academies across the country focusing on growing industries including finance, hospitality & tourism, information technology, engineering, and health sciences; and support programs of study that are aligned with the National Career Clusters Framework. During the 2022-23 school year, over 112,000 students attended over 600 NAF academies across 35 states and territories. In 2022, NAF academies reported 99% of seniors graduated with 88% of graduates planning to go to college.

About RTX
RTX is the world's largest aerospace and defense company. With more than 180,000 global employees, we push the limits of technology and science to redefine how we connect and protect our world. Through industry-leading businesses – Collins Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, and Raytheon – we are advancing aviation, engineering integrated defense systems for operational success, and developing next-generation technology solutions and manufacturing to help global customers address their most critical challenges. The company, with 2022 sales of $67 billion, is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.