Naugatuck Valley Community College President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., hosted the press conference at NVCC where Governor Lamont announced his newest initiative to bring higher education, public and private partnerships and employers together in pursuit of workforce development. Lamont signed an Executive Order to establish the Governor’s Workforce Council.
Council members addressed the conference starting with Garrett Moran, chairman of the newly-formed council. Moran, one of four co-chairs of the Lamont transition team and a close friend of the Governor, has been the president of Year Up, a nonprofit that provides technical and life skills training to low-income high school graduates who are not employed or enrolled in school. According to Moran, the work of the Council will be to lead the creation of a comprehensive plan for workforce development within a year.
Cindy Bigelow, third generation President & CEO of family-owned Bigelow Tea, took the podium to express her love of Connecticut and enthusiasm for the task force.
Dr. Monette Ferguson, Executive Director Action for Bridgeport Community Development Inc. (ABCD, Inc.), assured the conference that the most vulnerable would always have a voice.
Mark Ojakian, President Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) shared his excitement on behalf of the Colleges and Universities in the CSCU about the work of this task force.
Beth Bye, Commissioner leading the Office of Early Childhood, expressed hope for the task force to unlock the potential of Connecticut’s workforce.
Dr. Miguel Cardona, Commissioner of Education for the State of Connecticut described the connection between a strong public education system and the strength of the state’s economy.
Jay Williams, President of the Hartford Foundation made the connection between the role of philanthropy in the success of workforce development.
Kurt Westby, Commissioner Connecticut Department of Labor, told the conference that the Department of Labor connects works with employers, often through an apprenticeship model. He expressed the need for more workforce solutions.
State Representative Toni Walker of New Haven, House Chair of the Appropriations Committee and also a member of the Judiciary Committee, expressed enthusiasm and confidence to be part of this task force. She thanked Governor Lamont for keeping his promise in pledging to continue workforce development.
The Governor’s closing words expressed confidence that through this initiative, we are giving our kids the best opportunities, and for our business community, we are doing everything we can to train people for the best jobs out there.
Commenting on the task force and the Governor’s selection of the College as the location for signing the Executive Order, NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., noted “We are honored to have been chosen as the site for the signing of the Executive Order to establish the Governor’s Workforce Council. We are also grateful to have had the opportunity for Governor Lamont to tour NVCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center and recognize the excellent results NVCC achieves as we educate the workforce of today and tomorrow.”