Governor Ned Lamont today announced that his administration is partnering with several organizations to launch an innovative program that is designed to encourage graduates of Connecticut’s higher education institutions to build their careers and stay in the state upon receiving their diplomas.
Launching as a pilot program in Stamford this spring and expanding statewide by 2022, the Governor’s Innovation Fellowship will provide recent and upcoming college graduates the opportunity to start their careers with job placement at a growing, Connecticut-based company. Participants will also receive access to mentors and staff who will help them build their careers, as well as a $5,000 grant that will help them get settled as they embark on their post-college lives.
“Connecticut’s schools regularly rank among the best in the country, and the students who graduate from our colleges and universities are the very people making the innovative products and technologies that are changing the world. But too often they decide to locate in other states upon graduating, and we want to do something about that,” Governor Lamont said. “This program is focused on tapping the most talented and highest performing students and creating incentives for them to build their careers in Connecticut. Our state has great opportunities for young people and we need to make every effort to keep them here.”
The program will be funded and overseen by CTNext, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Connecticut Innovations that offers support to entrepreneurs. The initial pilot will launch through the management of StamfordNext, a nonprofit collaborative that funds projects, initiatives, and events that make Stamford a premier destination for individuals and businesses.
It is based on a similar program based in Indianapolis that launched in 2002 and is credited with helping to revitalize the city.
“Retaining top talent is essential for the state’s economic future,” Glendowlyn Thames, Executive Director of CTNext, said. “The Governor’s Innovation Fellowship will provide recent graduates with a unique opportunity to work at some of Connecticut’s most innovative companies while also supporting their continued professional growth and cultivating the next generation of talent for our state.”
“As we have been introducing this program to business leaders here in Stamford, what is most invigorating has been the enthusiasm with which they've taken up the charge,” Wesley Bemus, executive director of StamfordNext, said. “These companies are motivated to find and keep bright, driven young professionals and we’re making a direct connection to the deep pool of talent right in their own backyard.”
How the Governor’s Innovation Fellowship Works
Colleges and universities based in Connecticut will identify high-achieving students to present for participation in the fellowship. Candidates will be invited to apply for jobs that meet their professional aspirations, and partner companies will hire them through their regular hiring process.
For the pilot, the following Stamford companies have agreed to participate:
- Arccos Golf (a leading provider of big data, advanced analytics and machine learning insights for the global golf industry)
- Curacity (a data analytics company focused on the travel sector)
- Henkel (a global industrial and consumer company)
- ISG (a leading global technology research and advisory firm)
- Octagon (the world’s largest sports and entertainment agency)
- Sema4 (the fastest-growing health intelligence company in the country)
- Synchrony (a global leader in the fintech market)
- Trebel (an app for music lovers that lets them enjoy free downloads)
- Tru Optik (a leader in over-the-top measurement, data management, attribution and privacy compliance)
Several other companies have indicated interest and more are anticipated to be added to the list in the coming days. Based on the success of the pilot, the program will be expanded to include other areas of the state.