2020 Hall of Fame Hometown Hero Honoree
Erik M. Clemons
Chief Executive Officer & President
Connecticut Center for Arts & Technology (ConnCAT)
Erik M. Clemons is the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Center for Arts & Technology (ConnCAT), a nonprofit organization based on the model of Bill Strickland's National Center for Arts and Technology. ConnCAT is dedicated to providing job-training programs to give unemployed and under-employed youth and adults the skills needed to secure well-paying jobs in the health sciences and culinary professions. Clemons has a gift for seeing people’s talents and potential and then working with them to accomplish things they did not think they were capable of doing. Through the spirit of resilience, Clemons said ConnCAT is not just about programs, “It’s also about people. It is where everyone has an opportunity to be great.” A lifelong Connecticut resident, Erik volunteers significant time and energy in supporting other organizations doing good work in the local community. He has devoted his career to empowering marginalized communities in New Haven and across the state of Connecticut and helping others see their own potential and power. Gateway and ConnCAT are working together to forge a partnership of a culinary arts and hospitality training program.