Convening held to address college and career readiness initiatives in the state

Connecticut

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — An effort is being made to help young people get better prepared for college or the workplace. Big employers in our state say they have jobs but not enough skilled workers to fill them.

A long name with a simple focus. The Connecticut College & Career Readiness Alliance hosted a convening at Southern that looked at improving the long-term health of our state, making sure well-paying jobs stay here and making sure those positions go to people who live here.

It was a big message from big business. We’re hiring, but can’t find applicants.

“The CEO of IBM, as well as Former CEO of Pratt and Whitney, said as recently as last fall, is what keeps them up at night is that they don’t have the skilled workforce to meet the job openings and vacancies that they currently have,” said Shannon Marimon, Exec. Dir. Ready CT.

That’s partly why business leaders, educators, and policy makers came out to Southern Connecticut State University Tuesday.

Employers like Pratt and Whitney and Sikorsky say they have high paying jobs open. But that our workforce isn’t trained to fill their needs and the last thing the state wants is another big company to leave like G.E.

Garret Moran is part of the Governor’s Workforce Council. He says businesses need to roll up their sleeves and reach out to educators.

“Educators need to be more open preparing people with skills for the future rather than being in the traditional lane academically,” said Moran.

And that includes lifting up those in under-served communities too.

“We have an obligation to make sure more and more of our residents or citizens are prepared for the kinds of emerging careers that we are seeing today, as the world changes,” said Michael Wotorson, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

Organizers say it’s really never too early to gear kids to where the jobs are even kindergartners can get excited about tech careers.

“You can’t be what you don’t know so students need the opportunity and exposure to see what the world is like,” said Marimon.

This is all about keeping Connecticut competitive. Other neighboring states have similar goals and of course, we want to keep Nutmeggers here.

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