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CERC Commissioning Two Independent Studies

CERC Commissioning a Long-Term Economic Development Strategy Project

On February 1, 2019, Governor Lamont announced a new construct to support an invigorated and aggressive economic development strategy in Connecticut:

“We need to think holistically in terms of how we recruit, keep and grow companies here in the state of Connecticut. […] For too long, we’ve looked at economic growth and development in silos instead of with a comprehensive view that allows us to see the impact of our decisions on the long-term financial sustainability and success of our state, and therefore, our residents.”

Two of Connecticut’s principal economic development entities, the Connecticut Economic Resource Center (“CERC”) and the Department of Economic and Community Development (“DECD”) will form an innovative public-private partnership. Through this collaboration, CERC will be responsible for all recruitment and retention activities on behalf of the state, while DECD will continue to help businesses navigate state and local government to minimize lag time, enhance services, and expedite relocation.

Accordingly, CERC is undertaking a bold transformation into a private, business-driven non-profit with a revised and expanded board and leadership as well as strategic focus and mandate. CERC will direct and expand its resources to promote business retention, expansion and recruitment of businesses as well as state and municipal development initiatives in Connecticut. CERC will help solidify Connecticut’s reputation as a great place to do business – with a premier location, educated workforce, responsive state government, strong schools and a high quality of life.

Long-term Economic Development Strategy Project

CERC will lead this project and CERC staff will play key roles on the team. To accelerate the work and bring incremental expertise to the effort, CERC is seeking the assistance of a consulting firm with deep experience with and knowledge of economic development strategy formulation and implementation. The consulting firm will help develop a phased approach with particular focus on an initial Connecticut diagnostic/assessment, “best practices” research, and cluster and regional strategy development. The firm will also be expected to provide assistance with stakeholder engagement, including company interviews and SMB research, alongside the CERC research team and the CERC Board. The final deliverable must be implementation oriented (versus fact finding, data gathering) providing Connecticut, and by extension CERC and all stakeholders involved in economic development, a unifying implementation strategy.

Interested firms should contact Alissa DeJonge, Vice President of Research at CERC, on or before August 15.

CERC Commissioning a Workforce Study

CERC recognizes that successful economic development strategies are built upon robust, comprehensive, and future-oriented talent development strategies. As part of its newly expanded mission, and as a critical part of the long term economic development strategy for the State of Connecticut it has been charged with crafting, CERC is seeking an analysis of the industries, jobs and skills which Connecticut should develop in order to ensure its long term economic competitiveness. CERC also seeks an articulation of current and future skill gaps, as well as a set of recommendations for how to remediate those gaps.

The purpose of this study is to analyze statewide workforce issues and opportunities and to recommend specific strategies by industry and/or occupational category to address the future talent needs in our state. The study should analyze the dynamics of the entire Connecticut workforce, and include regional as well as industry cluster views. The key questions we seek to answer through this study include:

  • What are the jobs and skills in demand now and over the next decade?
  • What occupations will be in demand across the economy and what are the associated skill sets?
  • What occupations will grow fastest and need additional supply?
  • Where are employers’ skill needs changing and how will training programs need to adjust?
  • What are the areas where Connecticut’s talent base has unique capabilities worthy of promotion?
  • What are the strengths and risks in Connecticut’s future talent pipeline?
  • Are their strategies Connecticut might employ to insure workforce development is geographically and demographically inclusive, particularly with respect to underemployed, economically disadvantaged and minority groups?  
  • What can employers and training providers do to capitalize on the positive findings and address the challenges?

CERC seeks to identify high opportunity occupational categories that will provide significant jobs that pay livable wages. A key question is whether we want to organize the analysis around industry clusters (to align with CT’s economic development plans) or look at occupational categories (a horizontal approach to jobs) that cuts across industries.

Firms with an interest in the project and the knowledge/ability necessary to provide the required data should contact Alissa DeJonge, Vice President of Research at CERC, on or before August 15.