Creating partnerships between businesses and higher education institutions in the technology sector is the focus of the new grant initiative.
Talent Tech Accelerator grants are being funded by the Connecticut Tech Talent Fund, and will be used to implement new programs across Connecticut.
Members of the New England Board of Higher Education, the Business-Higher Education Forum, the Connecticut Office of Workforce Strategy and the Department of Economic and Community Development awarded the grant to seven institutional partnerships.
“Connecticut needs tech workers to grow our 21st century workforce, and creating partnerships between tech employers and postsecondary institutions is a seamless way to ensure we’re creating organic talent pipelines that grow our economy,” said Dr. Kelly Valires, Connecticut’s Chief Workforce Officer.
State officials hope the grant will help Connecticut stay ahead of the curve as cybersecurity, virtual modeling, software development and digital analytics emerge.
“Skills in these areas are becoming increasingly important to all sectors of the economy,” said Ashley Zahn, CBIA’s government affairs associate.
“Connecticut has thousands of open jobs that need to be filled with skilled workers, not just workers.”
Gift recipients hail from all corners of the state. Recipients are using the fund for programs that focus on various sectors of the technology industry.
Quinnipiac University, the University of Bridgeport and Mitchell College are creating accelerated programs and pathways to focus on cybersecurity, according to a release from the state.
Quinnipiac University plans to launch an advanced cybersecurity badge program with partners in healthcare, finance and technology.
Down the road at the University of New Haven, leaders said they will develop an integrated game design and simulation development program to develop virtual reality skills.
At St. Joseph’s University, there is an emphasis on data analysis.
Officials there say they will develop a degree concentration tailored to the needs of Hartford-area employers.
Connecticut State Colleges and Universities are part of the plan to increase competitiveness in the tech industry.
“CSCU is excited to participate in this effort and is grateful for the resources and opportunities to invest in the professional development of our faculty and staff at colleges and universities,” said CSCU President Terence Cheng.
System administrators are recruiting faculty from two- and four-year institutions to work with the Capital Area Tech Partnership and the Southwest Connecticut Tech Partnership.
The team analyzes job and skill demand, and develops a micro-credit program built from digital analytics.
“Collaborating with NEBHE, BHEF and regional sector partnerships will help CSCU institutions ensure their programs are aligned with business needs and equip our students with the academic, technical and personal skills needed in the IT workforce,” Cheng said.