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public policy and advocacy

CTC’s 2018 Public Policy Survey

Initial results show strong need for talent support, and equally strong love for Connecticut’s lifestyle

public policy and advocacyIn late December 2017, we asked everyone on our mailing list (sign up!) to partake in our 2018 Public Policy survey, an audit of our stakeholders’ opinions designed to help shape the way the Connecticut Technology Council prioritizes and addresses some of the most pressing issues facing the tech community in Connecticut in 2018 and beyond. The feedback we have received has been absolutely essential to us, and we wanted to share some of the high points of the survey before we move into our public policy focus groups, happening February 6-9 throughout the state.

The survey was sent to our entire mailing list of over 6,000 individuals with a vested interest in the tech community in Connecticut. Of those asked to respond, we received 607 responses. Let’s break some of that down:

– Close to half of respondents are C-Level tech executives, a notable number of high-ranking professionals
– Responses came from business in Hartford, New Haven, and Fairfield Counties almost equally
– Three out of four respondents were men
– The “most agreed with” prompted statements in the survey (with a weighted average of 3.9 or more) were:

  • Filling positions that require engineering and/or technology skills is expensive and time consuming.
    Saville Dam, Barkhamstead Connecticut

    Saville Dam, Barkhamstead

  • I feel that the skills I possess (e.g., engineering, software development, coding) are in demand in Connecticut.
  • Attracting employees to Connecticut is difficult.
  • Connecticut is an expensive place to do business.
  • Connecticut is a state with a good quality of life.
  • Connecticut has a great educational system (including public and private as well as primary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions).

– 121 respondents want to participate in a focus group!

A closer look at public policy priorities based on the comments we received from respondents:

Workforce:

  • Companies are concerned about current capabilities and very concerned about future workforce needs
  • Many companies are filling talent needs through virtual employees and opening offices in other locations
  • Competition with other jurisdictions drive the “price point” beyond what some companies can pay
  • Still evidence of need to fill mid-level positions, but also a strong demand for entry level
  • Attracting employees is difficult mostly based on cost of living which is why a number of companies are going the virtual employee route

Capital Needs:

  • Not as much concern on the financing needs as we anticipated; there seems to be a sense that when financing is needed, it will be available
  • Lack of recognition of what financing programs the State has to offer and would like more info
  • Most interest was in public financing to assist in the hiring process
  • Not a strong connection between lowering taxes and increasing employment

Infrastructure Needs:

  • Traffic in Fairfield County needs to be addressed
  • Revitalizing urban cores to make them attractive to workforce

Perception of CT:

  • Expensive place to do business
  • Not extremely concerned about regulations and taxes
  • High Quality of life, but feels like it might be slipping
  • People don’t want to move to CT

The survey is now closed, and our focus groups are coming together for early February in anticipation of setting a solid public policy agenda for the 2018 Connecticut gubernatorial race and beyond. We hope you will stay engaged as we build out this essential aspect of what we do. For more information, feel free to reach out to info@ct.org at any time.

UPDATE (5/11/18):

Click Here to Read the Growth Agenda for CT's Technology Business Sector

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