New Haven’s ConnCAT Forms New Community Economic Development Corporation

News Release
Contact: Erik Clemons:

New Haven’s ConnCAT Forms New Community Economic Development Corporation

New Haven, CT (February 6, 2018)--The board of directors of the Connecticut Center for Arts and Technology (ConnCAT) announced today the formation of a new community economic development corporation. This entity, known as ConnCORP (Connecticut Community Outreach Revitalization Program), will focus on economic development initiatives within the Dixwell and Newhallville neighborhoods.

ConnCAT’s president, Erik Clemons, will serve as board chair for ConnCORP.

ConnCORP’s activities will include the acquisition and revitalization of commercial properties as well as investment in new and existing local community-based businesses. ConnCORP will also seek to attract businesses to New Haven. 

Clemons said, “This new initiative will stimulate greater economic activity by helping to draw businesses to the city and create new, well-paying jobs.”

ConnCAT’s board chair, Carlton L. Highsmith said, “The formation of ConnCORP represents a logical next step for ConnCAT as we fulfill our mission to help revitalize New Haven’s urban landscape by expanding economic opportunity for more of its citizens.”

ConnCAT will be the single shareholder for ConnCORP. Financial benefits that accrue from ConnCORP’s investment activities will be leveraged to further ConnCAT’s mission.

Paul McCraven, a longtime community-banking executive with First Niagara Bank (successor to NewAlliance and New Haven Savings Bank), served as a consultant in the development of ConnCORP and is expected to hold a significant role in ConnCORP’s future organization.

ConnCORP will be housed at ConnCAT’s Science Park location. For more information, contact


ConnCAT is a 501(c)(3) organization started in New Haven’s Science Park in 2011. The organization provides technical skills job training, workforce development, entrepreneurship training, and youth afterschool arts programming. ConnCAT is modeled after Pittsburgh, Pa.-based Manchester Craftsman Guild and Bidwell Training Center, founded by McArthur Genius Prize recipient, Bill Strickland. ConnCAT is also an affiliate of the National Center for Arts and Technology in Pittsburgh.