AP NEWS

Technology-training program coming to Stamford

December 17, 2018

STAMFORD — Two technology-training firms plan to launch programs here and in Hartford next year, bolstered by $2.5 million in state funding to help them tackle a shortage of workers with digital skills.

In 2019, General Assembly plans to run a trio of three-month, full-time courses in web development and a full-time, three-month program in data science, at a to-be determined location within walking distance of the downtown Stamford Metro-North station. Tech Talent South will operate a similar hub in downtown Hartford.

“Tech talent is where it’s at,” Catherine Smith, the state’s economic development commissioner, said last week. “Every single one of these (growing) companies need that kind of support. If you look at the job openings in the state, it’s about 7,000 in tech. And you look at how many (related) graduates we have out of schools, it’s about 500. There’s a complete disconnect. Every part of the country, even the world, is struggling to get enough tech talent.”

General Assembly’s first Stamford course, in web development, is scheduled to start in March.

Admitted students would be Connecticut residents who are 18 and older and have at least a high school diploma or equivalent education.

The state’s $1.25 million allocation to General Assembly — and the same amount to Tech Talent — would cover all tuition costs.

General Assembly and Tech Talent South are expected to enroll a total of about 400 students by 2020.

GA’s three-month programs have so far produced about 65,000 alumni.

The Manhattan-based firm runs campuses in various cities, including New York, Boston, Providence, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle, San Francisco, Austin, Denver and Washington.

“With our Manhattan campus, we saw a lot of demand from people in Connecticut,” General Assembly President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Fitzpatrick said Monday. “Given that there are so many tech jobs now, we said, ‘Why don’t we run a campus right here in Connecticut?’”

Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development administers the umbrella Tech Talent fund, which was created by the state Legislature in 2016 to help close the gap between the thousands of open jobs and job seekers.

The fund has also supported the Tech Talent Bridge, a program that provides matching grants to companies hiring tech-focused interns from local colleges and universities.

“Companies in (a) wide variety of industries from around the state are focused on growing their technology workforce,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a statement. “While much work has been done to increase the number of computer science graduates in the state — we’re up 136 percent at our state universities since 2012 — we need to equip more candidates with tech-basic skills so companies can put them to work now.”

Demand for tech professionals continues to grow, as several companies have announced major Connecticut expansions.

Earlier this month, job-search firm Indeed pledged to add another 500 jobs at its downtown Stamford offices, where about 900 now work. The announcement followed a separate plan rolled out last year to create 500 jobs.

Indeed aims to raise its Stamford contingent to about 1,700 by the end of 2031.

In September, IT consulting and research firm Gartner announced it would add 400 jobs during the next five years at its headquarters in Stamford’s Waterside neighborhood. The company employs about 1,200 at the main offices and around 100 elsewhere in the state.

Another IT firm, Infosys, announced in March that it would open a center in Hartford, aiming to employ about 1,000 there within the next four years.

More than $50 million in state subsidies are cumulatively supporting the Indeed, Gartner and Infosys projects.

pschott@scni.com; 203-964-2236; twitter: @paulschott

AP RADIO
Update hourly