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Travelers agreement extends UConn's role in Hartford
January 19, 1998

Travelers Group and the University of Connecticut have announced a major agreement designed to bolster the development of the financial services industry in Hartfor.

The agreement offers UConn the use of 30,000 square feet at the Travelers education center in Constitution Plaza, for three years. The University will offer credit and non-credit courses in finance, insurance and business. These offerings will complement the University's existing programs in West Hartford, which will continue unchange.

President Philip E. Austin said "The Travelers Education Center gives the University a superior platform from which to offer courses and programs that will enhance the vitality of Hartford's insurance financial and managed care industries."

He said the arrangement will not affect the plans of a consortium of Hartford-area higher education institutions, including UConn, for a downtown education center.

The arrangement is part of a $3 million, five-point program announced by Sanford Weill, chairman and chief executive officer of Travelers Group, at the economic summit held in Hartford on January 6 by the area Chamber of Commerce and the Connecticut Business and Industry Associatio.

Weill said education is at the heart of community developmen.

"The central strategy for developing a healthy vibrant economy in a community is the creation of a well-educated pool of professionals," he said. "A reliable flow of talent is a tremendous draw to corporations and to the creation of new jobs."

Austin said the arrangement permits the University "to extend our educational activities in Connecticut's urban centers. This public-private partnership is another example of the confidence state business leaders have shown in the University to meet their needs."

Weill also announced that Travelers will offer more than 100 paid internships for high school and college level students and has provided $100,000, to be matched by the University, for an endowed scholarship fund for local Academy of Finance graduates who attend UConn. The Academy of Finance is a national program that trains high school students for careers in the finance industr.

Weill said the UConn-Academy of Finance collaboration is intended to train young people in the Hartford area for the future. "When we look to the next millennium or 10 years after that, we can be training the people that grow up here so that this can really be one of the financial capitals of the world," he said. "We are making education more accessible ... hopefully we can reach enough people and those people over time will make a difference in the future of this community."

Austin added, "Economic development is not going to happen in the absence of an educated workforce and education is the platform on which this community is going to achieve its aspirations or not."