NVCC’s President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. joined with colleagues to host Governor-elect, Ned Lamont and a committee of his transition team focused on digital technology strategies Monday afternoon in Technology Hall on the Waterbury campus of NVCC.
President De Filippis said, “I love that NVCC hosted our state’s newest leaders. The recommendations from this committee will influence the direction of the College’s academic programs and industry responsiveness. The setting for this meeting in NVCC’s Technology Hall was particularly appropriate. We are already working on digital initiatives in manufacturing and cybersecurity which address skill gaps identified by area industries.”
In cybersecurity the college has developed curriculum with industry partners like COCC and Webster Bank. NVCC recently hosted executives from Infosys to connect students with information about jobs and the skills required for them. The college has approximately 250 industry partners in manufacturing with a recent 100% job-placement rate for graduates of the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center program.
Governor-elect Lamont opened the meeting emphasizing the importance of digital technology strategy to “build a more-modern Connecticut.” Lamont envisioned a role for digital technology to make Connecticut a state where employers want to come. Connecticut needs to create a “single point of contact” to bring businesses to the state. The meeting was one of 15 presentations throughout the state from which the Governor-elect encouraged policy recommendations to inform his agenda.
Co-chairman of Lamont’s Digital Strategy Committee, David Wilkinson, commissioner of the Office of Early Childhood and former director of the White House Office of Social Innovation, introduced three strategies central to the series of digital technology recommendations that may serve as templates for the newly elected governor. The series of recommended proposals may bring changes in a number of key areas including education and public/private partnerships. Among their recommendations for the Governor’s first 100 days, the committee suggested a digital performance infrastructure and a steering committee to develop an action plan.
Nicholas M. Donofrio, former chairman and member of the CT Board of Regents for Higher Education (2012-2016), IBM Fellow Emeritus & Executive Vice President of Innovation and Technology (Ret.) and member of the digital strategy taskforce noted, “The Connecticut State Colleges and University system educates 250,000 students per day. We have to get them to stay.”
Joanne Collins Smee, chief commercial officer of Xerox Corp., underscored the importance of public/private partnerships and echoed the recommendation to appoint a Tech Czar to coordinate these initiatives.