ICYMI: Business Leaders, Connecticut Governor’s Workforce Council Launch Workforce Partnership Initiative

Effort Aims to Prepare 1,500 Connecticut Residents for High-Tech Jobs, Increase Upskilling

February 22nd, 2023

Last week, Business Roundtable, Stanley Black & Decker, Accenture and the Connecticut Governor’s Workforce Council launched the Connecticut Workforce Partnership Initiative (WPI) program. The initiative will prepare an additional 1,500 Connecticut residents to secure high-tech jobs by December 2025 through programs at Connecticut institutions of higher education, among other goals.

During the launch event, business, government and higher education leaders discussed the importance of working together to accelerate inclusive access to competitive, diverse, ready-to-work learners with in-demand skills by enhancing the existing suite of workforce programs:

On Expanding Workforce Opportunities:

  • Dane Linn, Senior Vice President, Corporate Initiatives, Business Roundtable: "The Business Roundtable's Workforce Partnership Initiative is one example where CEOs are focused on attacking skills and development challenges and driving economic growth around the country. We have three goals. One, accelerate access to competitive, ready-to-work workers with in-demand skills. Two, create high-performing industry and higher education partnerships. Three, expand business commitments to hiring and upskilling, with a focus on diverse, traditionally underrepresented populations in the workforce."
  • Ryan Oakes, Global Health and Public Services Industry Practice Chair, Accenture: "The Business Roundtable has been a driving force in bringing together organizations and local leaders to align in the goal of creating a strong Connecticut workforce."
  • Luke Bronin, Mayor of Hartford, CT: "We have amazing talent in this state, and we've got amazing companies that are offering job opportunities that will lead to incredibly fulfilling, meaningful careers in industries that are on the cutting edge, doing some of the most amazing work that companies are doing anywhere in the world."

On the Need for Workforce Development Cooperation:

  • Stanley Black & Decker President and CEO Donald Allan, Jr.: "Workforce development is not only an important business priority but is the significant driver of economic development and community development. An inclusive plan that helps serve and activate all of Connecticut's citizens makes our state a great place to work, live, and play."
  • Kelli-Marie Vallieres, Chief Workforce Officer, Connecticut Office of Workforce Strategy: "[Business-led partnerships are] working with our educational institutions to help them understand what we need, when we need, to build out the systems in place so that not only are we developing a program for today, but we're developing a system that can be able to keep up with the pace of change of business."

Click here to watch the full event, which also included speakers from Business Roundtable member companies M&T Bank and Synchrony.

Connecticut is now the ninth region in the country where WPI operates. Through the program, Business Roundtable CEOs partner with local colleges and universities to accelerate and scale workforce readiness programs and develop a steady talent pipeline that meets the workforce needs of a particular region.

Additional Background:

Business Roundtable CEOs lead companies that support 37 million American jobs. Members are committed to closing the skills gap, which has been widened by an accelerated demand for new digital and tech skills to support increased innovation in the workplace. Alongside the Workforce Partnership Initiative, Business Roundtable members also support the Multiple Pathways Initiative, a multi-year targeted effort to reform companies' hiring and talent management practices to emphasize the value of skills, rather than just degrees, and to improve equity, diversity and workplace culture.

For more on Business Roundtable’s workforce development initiatives, click below: