RWA Grant Helps Common Ground High School Pursue New Environmental Education And Green Jobs Opportunities

Feb 05, 2018

New Haven, CT, February 5, 2018 – The South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority (RWA) is helping to advance environmental science education and green jobs programs for students at New Haven’s Common Ground High School (CGHS) through a new $5,000 grant.

The RWA’s grant will offer students the opportunity to work on a variety of new projects, such as field trips to RWA properties to connect them with employees working in their field of interest and having Green Jobs Corps students assist with the RWA’s community youth fishing program.

The RWA has supported and partnered with the charter school on a variety of environmental science education and careers programs since 2011. In 2016, the RWA expanded the collaboration, adopting CGHS as its school partner.

 “The RWA’s support has allowed us to invest in our Green Jobs Corps program, which has provided 142 paying jobs for 81 students to explore career opportunities in environmental science.  The support also has helped us improve the quality of our environmental science education programs in the classroom,” said Joel Tolman, CGHS Director of Impact & Engagement. “It’s a unique and lasting relationship that has blossomed and grown over a number of years.”

The collaboration with the RWA is multi-faceted. RWA employees serve as guest teachers, invite students to job shadow RWA staff and support a summer internship program. The week-long RWA Environmental Careers Summer Camp program, which is funded by a grant from the RWA’s Watershed Fund, gives students exposure to the types of environmental careers that are available in the water industry through classroom presentations, hands-on activities, field trips and treatment plant tours. 

“The school’s programs help the students grow into committed environmental leaders. The learning opportunities for students are invaluable, and there’s no better way for employers to prepare tomorrow’s workforce than to invest in student training and adopt-a-school programs,” said Lisa DiFrancesco, the RWA’s Water Science Educator.

The adoption of CGHS aligns with the RWA’s conscious capitalism philosophy that President and CEO Larry Bingaman continues to nurture at the nonprofit corporation. As a conscious, sustainable business, the RWA works to add value for its customers, and create benefits for the environment and the region by fulfilling its higher purpose to make life better for people by delivering water for life. “We believe that educating tomorrow’s leaders is the key to economic growth as education opens the door to endless opportunities and broadens horizons,” said Bingaman. “Working with the school and encouraging students to consider careers in the water industry also helps to ensure that the RWA will have the talent and expertise that it needs to continue to successfully fulfill its higher purpose far into the future." 

Located on a 20-acre campus where students focus on local and global social environmental justice issues, CGHS is the nation’s longest-running environmental charter school.


About the Regional Water Authority

The South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority (RWA) delivers water for life by providing high-quality water and services to almost 430,000 people in 15 cities and towns throughout Greater New Haven. Across its operations, the RWA acts as a responsible steward of the environment by protecting the more than 27,000 acres of watershed land it owns and promoting sustainable practices. Our more than 260 employees work toward our vision of being an innovative water utility that sustains life, strengthens communities and protects natural resources for future generations. For more information on the Regional Water Authority, please visit