2024 Connecticut Workforce Summit: Discovering Hidden Talent


Growing Connecticut’s workforce requires deep partnerships among industry, education, government, and nonprofits to expand career pathways and attract a more diverse talent base.

It also requires the removal of barriers to employment that keep people out of the workforce, such as the lack of affordable childcare, housing, and education and training opportunities.

The 2024 Connecticut Workforce Summit features key stakeholders from business, education, community-based organizations, and the public sector working together to build a skilled workforce that meets our economy’s growing needs.

This year’s summit focuses on discovering hidden talent, developing a more diverse and inclusive Connecticut workforce that meets employer demands, uplifts historically underserved communities, and creates a more robust economy.

Rockwell Automation chair and CEO Blake Moret is the keynote speaker, sharing his passion for workforce development and the strategies and tactics the Milwaukee-based global technology leader implements to create a diverse team.

Moret serves on the Wisconsin Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment and the National Association of Manufacturers’ executive committee, co-chairs the World Economic Forum’s Advanced Manufacturing Community of CEOs, and is a member of the Business Roundtable.

We’ll explore ways to reconnect over 100,000 disconnected Connecticut young people to their communities and the workforce and emphasize partnerships that strengthen, enrich, and expand public-private ecosystems that ensure all individuals, especially those from historically underserved communities, can access the training, education, and support to pursue meaningful, rewarding careers.

And Gov. Ned Lamont presents his inaugural Governor’s Workforce Partnership Awards, recognizing the outstanding public-private partnerships that are developing Connecticut’s hidden talent as key contributors to the state’s economy.

Don’t miss this invaluable opportunity to network and engage with other stakeholders committed to maximizing the impact and sustainability of Connecticut’s workforce development pipelines.


7:30 am | Check-In & Networking Breakfast

8:30 am | Opening Remarks

  • Kelli-Marie Vallieres, Chief Workforce Officer, Office of Workforce Strategy
  • Chris DiPentima, President & CEO, CBIA

8:45 am | Keynote: Blake Moret, Chair & CEO, Rockwell Automation

  • Introduction: Mark Argosh, Chair, Governor’s Workforce Council; Executive Director, Social Venture Partners Connecticut

9:30 am | Panel Discussion: Opportunity Youth

  • Introduction: Dr. Ellen Solek, Executive Director, Connecticut Technical Education & Career System
  • Moderator: Adhlere Coffy, Senior Portfolio Director, Connecticut Opportunity Project
  • Vilma Cuevas, AVP, Talent Strategy, Nuvance Health
  • Julie DeGennaro, Associate Executive Director, Domus
  • David Golfin, Associate Director & Deputy Chief Engineer, Pratt & Whitney
  • Tara Spain, VP & COO, Travelers Foundation

10:30 am | Networking Break

10:45 am | Panel Discussion: Nontraditional Populations

  • Introduction: John Maduko, President, Connecticut State Community College
  • Moderator: Shannon Marimón, Executive Director, ReadyCT
  • Tahari Austin, Re-Entry Program Manager, Best Chance Partnership, Capital Workforce Partners
  • Judith Hahn, Executive Director, Nursing Professional Practice & Education, Yale New Haven Health System
  • Nancy Taylor, Director, Workforce Development, Charter Oak State College
  • Cyndi Zoldy, Executive Director, Manufacturing Alliance Service Corporation, Inc.

11:45 pm | Networking Lunch

12:45 pm | Career Pathways: Program Participant Perspectives

  • Introduction: Michelle Gilman, Commissioner, Department of Administrative Services
  • Moderator: Charlene Russell-Tucker, Commissioner, State Department of Education
  • Jadon Gomez-Stafford, Student, University of Connecticut BRIDGE Program
  • Damaly Mendez, Student, Quinnipiac University
  • Will Migliaccio, Aerospace Production Technician, Westminster Tool
  • Charles Razor, DomusWorks Crew Leader, Domus
  • Jah’shawn Vanholten, Market Analyst, Travelers

1:45 pm | Governor’s Workforce Awards

  • Introduction: Danté Bartolomeo, Commissioner, Department of Labor
  • Gov. Ned Lamont

2:15 pm | Closing Remarks

  • Kelli-Marie Vallieres, Chief Workforce Officer, Office of Workforce Strategy

Tue, Apr 16, 2024
8:30am – 2:30pm


Aqua Turf Club

556 Mulberry Street, Plantsville, CT 06479




The 2024 Connecticut Workforce Summit is a collaboration between CBIA, the Connecticut Office of Workforce Strategy, Governor’s Workforce Council, ReadyCT, Social Venture Partners Connecticut, Connecticut Department of Administrative Services, Connecticut Department of Labor, Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, State Department of Education, and the Regional Workforce Development Boards, and made possible through the generous support of General Dynamics Electric Boat, with additional support from Dalio Education, Capital Workforce Partners, Wells Fargo, and Tunxis Community College.

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