To the editor:
Spurring growth, creating good-paying jobs and putting Connecticut’s residents back to work are important elements of an economic recovery. And, while the current recession continues to be a drag on much of our country, there remain reasons to be optimistic.
For example, in Stamford there are many signs of recovery. The region has experienced positive growth with the addition of NBC Universal and NBC Sports studios. Together, they have provided more than 700 jobs. Blue Sky Studios, in Greenwich, producers of the Ice Age trilogy and Rio, have also added an impressive 1,000 jobs to the region.
Jack Condlin, president of the Stamford Chamber of Commerce, has always known of Stamford’s economic potential. “Stamford has seen some very positive growth in the past 12 years. We always felt that Stamford would lead the state out of recession,” Condlin said. Not only is it a driving force for economic growth, but also Stamford is leading the state with innovative and relevant education reforms that will result in major workforce development.
J.M. Wright Technical School is slated to open in the fall of 2014 with a freshmen class of 145 students and promises to provide those young people with a unique education in relevant trades needed for the growing economy. Condlin remarked, “The closing of Wright Tech was unfortunate for Stamford, but the state went through the correct process to re-open the school. Wright Tech will provide the right trades and degrees for what Stamford needs.” Wright Tech isn’t the only school to provide workforce development in Stamford.
With a growing number of television and movie studios calling Stamford home, Norwalk Community College is pairing up with Wright Tech to offer a ground-breaking program in Digital Media. Norwalk Community College’s Government and Community Relations Director, Moira Lyons commented on the vast benefits of a NCC presence in Stamford. “A campus presence in Stamford would allow stronger partnerships with the business community and deliver educational services where over 1/3 of our student population live and work. If we want to keep our young folks in Connecticut we have to provide an education that is accessible, affordable and leads to employment,” said Lyons. There is also the potential for the expansion of UConn Stamford’s campus.
If passed by the General Assembly, “Next Generation Connecticut” will add a Digital Media and Design degree program at UConn’s Stamford campus. Not only will this increase workforce development in the area, but also the program would create 35 new faculty positions.
Between the creation of digital media degrees and programs and the already existing studios, I believe there is great potential for meaningful and beneficial partnerships. The increase in students will also provide profit for our small business owners in the area. The possibilities are truly endless.
I look forward to seeing our students fine tune their skills and enter Stamford’s workforce. As the age of media rapidly descends upon us, I foresee Stamford as “the hub” of the Digital Media movement.
State Rep. Livvy Floren, R-149