CSCU Releases Ambitious Workforce Development Plan
The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system released an ambitious plan Jan. 24 designed to help grow the state’s next-generation workforce.
CSCU 2030 is a seven-year initiative that president Terrence Cheng says will allow more people to go to college and create new facilities and programs across the system’s four state universities and 12 community colleges.
“CSCU 2030 is a generational investment in public higher education,” he said.
“It invests in in-demand programs to build the state’s workforce in key sectors.”
The first of two key proposals of the plan is to drive enrollment and train and educate students to help fill the more than 100,000 job openings in the state.
“CSCU serves 85,000 students and has an $11 billion annual impact on the state’s economy,” Cheng said.
“We are the primary engine for social mobility and workforce development in the state.”
CSCU 2030 expands the state’s PACT program to provide free tuition for more than 7,000 state university students and all community college students.
Since it was created in 2019, the program has provided free tuition for community college students who are Connecticut high school graduates and first-time college students.
Helping residents struggling with the cost of college and implementing pathways to rewarding careers are key components of CBIA’s 2023 Transform Connecticut policy solutions.
“The workforce crisis is the biggest threat to Connecticut’s economic growth,” said CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima.
“We need to find meaningful solutions to attract and retain residents, and make it more affordable to live and work in our state.”
CSCU 2030 makes investments in student support services and innovative and expanded academic programs that Cheng said will help bolster the workforce.
“Our students come from Connecticut, are educated in Connecticut, and they stay to live and work in Connecticut,” he said.
DiPentima called CSCU “an invaluable partner in educating and training Connecticut’s workforce.”
“The community colleges, state universities, and Charter Oak State College all offer innovative programs on which our businesses of all sizes have come to rely,” he said.
“A strong CSCU is crucial to meeting the state’s workforce needs, both today and into the future.”
Stanley Black & Decker vice president Marty Guay explained that “businesses in Connecticut rely on graduates to matriculate with relevant and appropriate skill sets to keep our economy strong and growing.”
To fund the first part of CSCU 2030 proposal, Cheng is asking for a state funding increase of $54.3 and $127.8 million over fiscal 2023 levels in the new biennium, with support sustained through 2030.
The second key proposal of CSCU 2030 makes investments to modernize and improve CSCU’s facilities, technology, laboratories, and classrooms.
The plan includes upgrades to academic and support buildings, and technology upgrades that Cheng says will increase productivity, innovation and security.
It would also build an expanded Transportation Jobs Center at Gateway Community College, and an updated facility for Capital Community College.
“Investments in programs and infrastructure, along with necessary wrap around services, provide the necessary ingredients for the future success of Connecticut,” said Guay.
The CSCU 2030 capital project program proposes $2.21 billion in investments over seven years.
Cheng says the investments will allow the system to expand existing programs and allow them to create new undergraduate and graduate degrees to match the demand for key skills and industries.
Cheng spoke with the CBIA BizCast in May 2022 and said his vision for CSCU’s future is a system that has curriculum, programs and apprenticeships that gives students the experience and training they need to enter the workforce.
“When we get it all together, and we are able to connect those dots, when CSCU is firing on all cylinders you will feel the impact across the entire state,” he said.
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1 thought on “CSCU Releases Ambitious Workforce Development Plan”
This explains nothing. Just money for buildings.
We need money for trades not just college.
What type of jobs will be created after college?