Gov. Ned Lamont has created the Governor’s Workforce Council, designed to partner with the business community and remove barriers among state government agencies so that Connecticut “can have the most aligned, high-quality, and equitable workforce development system in the country.”
Lamont made the announcement during a Tuesday news conference on the campus of Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury, where he signed an executive order creating the council, previously known as the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission.
“Our education and training system today is too static and disconnected to meet the needs of Connecticut’s 21st century economy,” said Lamont, who signed the executive order surrounded by business officials, education leaders and labor representatives.
“Our systems don’t talk to each other enough, nor are we talking enough to the businesses where our students will ultimately seek employment,” he said. “The status quo will no longer do. We have to break down our silos and come together to achieve great outcomes. We need businesses at the table, collaborating with our schools, colleges, and labor so that our teachers know what skills to teach, and our students know what jobs will be awaiting them. We need to create a system where all residents have access to high-quality training and jobs, and all businesses can find the talented workers they need.”
The 24-person council is required to review the state’s workforce development system and submit a report to the governor and the legislature by Jan. 1, 2021, that makes strategic recommendations to improve the state’s workforce system in a variety of areas, including better coordination, reducing barriers to training, strengthening the bridge from high school into post-secondary training and education, and emphasizing data-driven outcomes.
The council and its chair, Garrett Moran, will take a lead role in advising Lamont on the state’s workforce development strategy and supporting the state’s economic growth. Moran, former president of workforce development nonprofit Year Up, will also act as a principal advisor to the governor on workforce development.
Moran began his career in the financial services industry, first with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, and later became president of MMC Capital. He also served as chief operating officer of Blackstone Group’s private equity group.
Other appointees include Cindi Bigelow, CEO of Fairfield-based Bigelow Tea; Margaret Keane, CEO of Stamford-based Synchrony; Cliff Asness, managing principal of Greenwich’s AQR Capital Management; State Sen. Tony Hwang, R, whose district includes parts of Fairfield, Westport, Weston, Easton, and Newtown; and executives from Electric Boat, Stanley Black & Decker, and The Hartford.
It is anticipated that the council will appoint several additional people to serve as ex-officio members, such as commissioners and other state leaders.
Lamont plans to attend each of the council’s quarterly meetings, which will be open to the public. The first meeting is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 21 at a time and location to be determined.
Over the next several months, Lamont and Moran plan to meet with businesses, educators, labor, and workers to hear their thoughts about what is working and what needs improvement within the state’s workforce development system.