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Connecticut Tech Sector: Strong & Getting Stronger

from the desk of CEO Bruce Carlson

The Tech Sector in Connecticut continues to set the pace for job and wage growth in the state. In a recently released report from national technology industry association, CompTIA, the Connecticut Tech Sector once again shows significant strength and growth. Tech and tech-oriented companies in Connecticut added nearly 2000 jobs in 2016, and the average wage for a tech worker is about 60% higher than the average wage in Connecticut: $105,500 vs. $65,800, respectively. In addition, it is estimated by the report, Cyberstates™ 2017, that the Connecticut Tech Sector represents 5.3% of the overall state economy.

That’s the good news. Once again, this annual report ranked Connecticut 26th in tech employment. While being in the middle of the pack is not bad, it isn’t as good as we know we can be. After years of being in the economic development game, I have learned to look at how other states that I consider peer states fare in the study. These are states that are comparable in demographics, economic make up, and population: Maryland, Oregon, Minnesota and Colorado. How did they rank? Maryland ranked 16, Oregon 21, Minnesota 17, and Colorado 14. That tells me that with some intention, we can improve our national ranking in future reports.

How do we do that? CTC is embarking on a strategic initiative to help those companies that are ready to scale up. Employment growth will come from the companies currently in Connecticut that can – and want to – grow. Oftentimes, these companies need support that is specific to their individual needs. We have hundreds, if not thousands, of companies in Connecticut that fit this bill, and CTC will lead the effort to help these companies that endeavor to scale up. Success in this venture is dependent on success in one of our other initiatives, Talent & Workforce. If Connecticut’s tech ecosystem can’t develop and source the talent these scaling companies need, we will unintentionally hold back their growth. Although many are working on this issue, it has emerged as a bottom line necessity for us to develop that robust talent pipeline in Connecticut if we are going to capture the growth of these scaling companies in our state. Talent & Workforce remains a top priority for CTC.

We need to have both the short term view and also evergreen and agile planning in developing programs that will help companies scale and find the necessary talent to do so. All ideas are welcome and we would love to hear from you about what you think either CTC or Connecticut should be doing in these areas, or how to improve, leverage, or repurpose many of the programs we already have in place Feel free to reach out to CTC staff with your thoughts at any time; after all, we are here to serve our members.

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