HARTFORD, CT – Governor Ned Lamont today announced the creation of seven new technology education programs at Connecticut’s public and private colleges and universities. The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) and the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF), in partnership with the Connecticut Office of Workforce Strategy and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, awarded grants to seven business-higher education partnerships in Connecticut as part of an initiative to rapidly increase the competitiveness of the state’s postsecondary institutions and meet growing business demand for tech skills.
The initiative, Tech Talent Accelerator, was funded by the Connecticut Tech Talent Fund (administered by the Connecticut Department of Community and Economic Development) to close this skills gap by fostering targeted, high-performing partnerships between business and higher education in emerging, high-demand tech skills in areas such as cybersecurity, virtual modeling, software development, and digital analytics critical to business growth in the state.
The seven Tech Talent Accelerator grantees and their focus areas are:
- Quinnipiac University, which will launch an advanced cybersecurity badging program tailored to industry partners in healthcare, finance, and tech in central and southern Connecticut.
- University of Bridgeport, which will provide a new 12-week course in cybersecurity and information security tailored to businesses in Southwest Connecticut’s finance and tech sectors.
- Mitchell College, which will develop an accelerated pathway for cybersecurity skills tailored to the advanced manufacturing and defense sector.
- University of Hartford, which will launch an accelerated software development course for mobile apps tailored to major businesses in the Greater Hartford area championed by global tech firm Infosys.
- University of New Haven, which will develop an embedded game design and simulation development program leveraging skills augmented and virtual reality in collaboration with SphereGen, Arsome, and Pleiadian.
- University of Saint Joseph, which will develop a degree concentration in data analytics tailored to the regional needs of Greater Hartford employers championed by global tech firm CGI.
- Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU), which will launch a dedicated community of practice to collaborate with businesses through the Capital Area Tech Partnership and the Southwest Connecticut Tech Partnership. CSCU faculty from two and four-year institutions will directly work with each partnership to analyze jobs and skills demand data and develop a refreshed program with cross-cutting digital skills built off of the success of the newly released Foundations in Digital Analytics micro-credential backed by Connecticut businesses.
“Bringing our educators to the same table as our businesses has been a priority of our administration since day one,” Governor Lamont said. “Having businesses articulate what types of skills they need and working with Connecticut’s best educational institutions to create new programs that put people in high-quality careers is how we are building a nation-leading workforce.”
“The Connecticut Office of Workforce Strategy and the Governor’s Workforce Council have formed regional sector partnerships across the state consisting of Connecticut’s top employers articulating and aligning on the skills they need to fill their highest-demand talent,” Dr. Kelli Vallieres, chief workforce officer of the State of Connecticut, said. “Connecticut needs tech workers to grow our 21st century workforce, and forming partnerships between tech employers and postsecondary institutions is a seamless way to ensure we are creating organic talent pipelines that grow our economy.”
“Tech talent is critical to businesses across all sectors in Connecticut,” Martin Guay, vice president of business development for Stanley Black and Decker and a co-chair of the Hartford-based Capital Area Tech Partnership, one of the state’s regional sector partnerships, said. “Tech Talent Accelerator is helping our state quickly increase its capacity to deliver the talent needed to keep our businesses competitive in Connecticut. Through this investment, our entire business community will yield the benefits of hiring diverse, well-trained, ready-to-work tech talent with the specific skills necessary for our businesses through our state’s world-class public and independent higher education institutions.”
“CSCU is excited to participate in this effort and is very appreciative of the resources and opportunity to invest in the professional development of our faculty and staff at the colleges and universities,” CSCU President Terrence Cheng said. “Partnering with NEBHE, BHEF, and the regional sector partnerships will help CSCU institutions ensure their programs are aligned to business needs and our students have the academic, technical and personal skills needed in the IT workforce.”
“The independent colleges in Connecticut are eager to support the business community in the state by developing new programs that provide instruction in high tech, in-demand, skills,” Jen Widness, president of the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges, said. “We are grateful for the partnership with the state, NEBHE, BHEF, and CSCU in launching the Tech Talent Accelerator initiative.”