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Erik Clemons Reflects On Ten Years Leading ConnCAT; Community College Enrollment On The Decline


The Connecticut Center for Arts and Technology, or ConnCAT, was started in 2011 in New Haven — modeled after a job training and community organization in Pittsburgh. This hour on Disrupted, we talk to Erik Clemons, who was one of its founders, and who just stepped down as CEO after a decade. He talks about his career in New Haven and about the lessons he learned from being a part of the public/private partnership between the state and Dalio Philanthropies.

Also, we talk about how community college admissions plummeted during the pandemic – and why.


  • Erik Clemons – Founder and former CEO of the Connecticut Center for Arts and Technology (ConnCAT) in New Haven; Executive Chairman of CT Outreach Revitalization Program (ConnCORP), the economic development arm of ConnCAT
  • Danielle Douglas-Gabriel – Reporter covering the economics of higher ed at the Washington Post
Catie Talarski is Senior Director of Storytelling and Radio Programming at Connecticut Public.
Dr. Khalilah L. Brown-Dean is an award-winning scholar at Quinnipiac University, author, and host of Disrupted on WNPR.