Andrea Comer, vice president of workforce strategies for CBIA's Education & Workforce Partnership, has been named to the governing board of Connecticut's Technical High School System.

Comer was sworn into her new position Nov. 14.

CBIA's Andrea Comer
Andrea Comer speaking at CBIA's 2017 When Women Lead conference.

She said she hopes to bring her knowledge and experience of what Connecticut's manufacturers need to fill the skills gap to her new role.

"Education is a personal passion, and a true equalizer in terms of economic opportunity,"
Comer said.

"I'm honored to serve on the technical high school board, which has increasingly become a key provider of workforce talent for our state's STEM [science, technology, engineering, math] sectors."

THSS board chair Robert Trefry announced Comer's appointment at an Oct. 4 meeting of the state Board of Education.

Workforce Concerns

He shared Comer's resume with state BOE members, noted that she will serve on the THSS board's Outreach and Finance Subcommittee, and said she will be a tremendous asset to the system.

"As a member of the board, I hope to bring the voice of employers, and to strengthen the connection between future workers and the industries that need them," Comer said.

CBIA president and CEO Joe Brennan said Comer will bring her unique perspective to the board.

I hope to strengthen the connection between future workers and the industries that need them.
— CBIA's Andrea Comer
"Connecticut's aging manufacturing workforce is a real concern for employers," he said.

"Andrea has been critical in our efforts to address this, encouraging educators and industry to work together in identifying employment needs and creating curriculum so that students are prepared for these well-paying jobs and employers will have a pipeline of talent.

"She will be an asset to this board as they move forward to find creative and innovative ways to grow the state's workforce."

Skilled Workforce

In her role with the Education & Workforce Partnership, Comer leads CBIA's efforts to improve education and workforce development opportunities, partnering with educational institutions, government entities, and business groups to ensure Connecticut has a competitive, highly skilled workforce.

She is a former member of the Hartford Board of Education, the State Board of Education, and has spent more than two decades working to improve outcomes in underserved communities.

Before joining CBIA, she was chief development officer for an education management organization, where she oversaw communications, strategic planning, and fundraising.

Comer has also worked in various municipal government roles, serving as a consultant for the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, and as a senior philanthropic officer for the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

Other governing board members include:

  • Chair Robert Trefry, former Bridgeport Hospital CEO
  • Vice chair Patricia Keayney-Maruca, State Board of Education member
  • Gina Chiarella Schum, CEO, Take 2, Inc.
  • Daisy Cocco De Filippis, president, Naugatuck Valley Community College
  • Karen Eichstaedt, retired United Community and Family Services executive
  • Peter Hoecklin, president and CEO, TRUMPF, Inc.
  • Scott Jackson, commissioner, Department of Labor
  • Catherine Smith, commissioner, Department of Economic and Community Development
  • Fitz Walker, president and CEO, Bartron Medical Imaging