July 21 – Governor Ned Lamont visited Capital Community College Wednesday to launch the Capital Area Tech Partnership involving over 50 technology companies to “help position Connecticut as a leader in the IT, AI and Industry 4.0 economy.”
In a morning ceremony at the College’s Centinel Hill Hall auditorium, Lamont signed Public Act 21-199, An Act Concerning Various Revisions and Additions to the Statutes Relating to Education and Workforce Development that revises education policy to help improve equity in education and improve post-secondary outcomes.
“Post-secondary for all means that all students should be prepared for and have the opportunity to attend a high-quality post-secondary program, which includes apprenticeship programs, certificate programs, and degree programs,” according to a statement released by the Governor’s office shortly after the event attended by members of the Governor’s Workforce Council. The Tech Partnership involved the CT Office of Workforce Strategy, Capital Workforce Partners, the MetroHartford Alliance, the regional IT and tech companies and education partners including Capital and other community colleges that are expected to play a prominent role in the Governor’s Workforce Council Plan 2020.
“Connecticut’s regional sector partnerships will create new career pathways for thousands of good-paying jobs that are currently available in IT, advanced manufacturing, and other industries in the state,” Governor Lamont said. “By upskilling and reskilling our residents, we can prepare them to capitalize on these great jobs to fuel growth in the Connecticut economy now and well into the future.”
New training programs aligned with the Capital Area Tech Partnership are currently under development. In these training programs, participants will receive skills-based training, leading to entry-level employment in high-demand occupation clusters such as IT support, cloud services, data management, cybersecurity, and more.
Capital Community College currently offers an array of certificate and associate degree programs in those areas. The College’s Business and Technology Division includes cybersecurity, Computer Networking and Computer Support Services. This summer an advanced manufacturing program has been established focusing on training city residents.
“We are excited to work with technology business leaders to meet their IT workforce needs through a skills-based training approach,” Alex Johnson, president and CEO of Capital Workforce Partners said. “Engaging marginalized, underserved populations is a priority, especially as these populations were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The programs will include outreach and training to engage diverse populations and help them access employment and lifelong learning opportunities.”
“As leaders in our region’s technology sector, we know how critical it is for us to train and develop our future workforce,” Martin Guay, vice president of business development for Stanley Black & Decker and one of the founding leaders of the Capital Area Tech Partnership, said. “Our efforts to support the Capital Area Tech Partnership is another important step in helping close the skills gap and build digital-skills training programs that will credential students for career opportunities in Connecticut.”
“Connecticut’s Workforce Strategic Plan 2020 envisions that every Connecticut resident has access to meaningful career pathways and the support needed to fulfill their career aspirations, and every business in Connecticut has access to a skilled workforce,” Connecticut’s Chief Workforce Officer Kelli-Marie-Vallieres said. “With thousands of IT job openings, there is a sense of urgency by the state of Connecticut to engage target populations and accelerate access to opportunities that translate to high-quality jobs.”
The legislation that Governor Lamont signed – Public Act 21-199, An Act Concerning Various Revisions and Additions to the Statutes Relating to Education and Workforce Development – makes several changes regarding education policy to help improve equity in education and improve post-secondary outcomes and reflects the governor’s vision of “post-secondary for all.” Post-secondary for all means that all students should be prepared for and have the opportunity to attend a high-quality post-secondary program, which includes apprenticeship programs, certificate programs, and degree programs. These provisions of Public Act 21-199 were initially proposed earlier this year by Governor Lamont in Senate Bill 881.
The legislation signed into law at the Main Street campus includes a requirement for school districts to adopt policies to improve completion rates of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is the primary method by which need-based financial aid is provided – including federal Pell grants, the state’s Roberta Willis Scholarship, and the state’s PACT program. Students who complete the FAFSA are more likely to go on to enroll in and eventually complete post-secondary education. The FAFSA will become significantly shorter and easier to fill out next year, which should help improve completion rates.
Capital Community College is an urban, two-year institution that offers 60 academic programs in accredited studies preparing students for associate degrees, certificates and transfer, while its non-credit offerings prepare students for the immediate needs of the Connecticut workforce. Capital, one of New England’s most diverse campuses, was the first college in Connecticut to be designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution. The Capital Community College experience revolves around its historic eleven-story, Art Deco building in the heart of downtown Hartford, which offers unprecedented access to the city’s cultural and employment offerings.