Tech Talent Accelerator

Enhancing the Competativeness of Tech Talent in Connecticut 

Connecticut businesses are in urgent need of high-skill tech talent, and the gap is widening. From 2018 to 2023, tech job postings have increased by more than 17 percent. In September 2023 alone, more than 1,800 tech-related job openings were posted.1 However, sourcing talent for these roles is a challenge. Over half of tech job postings require at least a bachelor’s degree, and Connecticut colleges and universities struggle to produce enough graduates to keep pace with that demand.2  As a result, Connecticut businesses believe that higher education isn’t meeting the industry need and companies have “stressed a misalignment between higher education curricula and the practical skills needed within the workplace.” This skills gap is negatively impacting Connecticut firms like General Electric, Pratt & Whitney, and Electric Boat, who have expressed concerns about their ability to remain competitive.3 Connecticut higher education institutions are eager to partner with business to close this skills gap.


An Accelerated Approach

To meet industry demand and keep Connecticut’s workforce competitive, the state must deploy its entire higher education ecosystem—community colleges, public four-year institutions, and independent colleges and universities—to meet the challenge. Each sector has a critical role to play, whether reskilling or upskilling incumbent workers or producing graduates of four-year degree programs. Additionally, Connecticut businesses, through regional sector partnerships and advisory boards, must collaborate closely with the state’s higher education institutions to signal their talent needs.

This was the premise for ECMC Foundation's investment in the Connecticut Digital Talent Microcredential Pilot, launched in 2020. The Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) and the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) teamed up to help the state's community colleges develop a Digital Skills micocredential, directly informed by business needs using BHEF's Purposeful Partnerships strategic engagement model. 

Based on the success of this pilot, the Connecticut Office of Workforce Strategy (OWS) appointed BHEF and NEBHE to create and facilitate the Tech Talent Accelerator (TTA), an initiative aimed at fostering innovation in higher education to address this critical tech talent gap in Connecticut.

Business-Higher Education Partnerships

Tech Talent Accelerator 1.0 
January 2021–June 2023 
In the first phase of the Tech Talent Accelerator, BHEF and NEBHE created seven business-higher education partnerships that developed newly tailored tech credentials available to Connecticut’s workers in fields like cybersecurity, mobile application development, and game development. Microgrants were given to faculty to create and update tech programs or embed tech credentials into programs, mapped to the needs of their industry partner(s). Ultimately, employers like Accenture, CGI, and Infosys, will gain quicker access to workers with modern, transferrable tech skills and certificates aligned specifically to their needs. Faculty grantees benefitted from participating in a community of practice that developed industry-validated programs and embedding in-demand credentials. 

Tech Talent Accelerator 2.0 
September 2023–October 2024
The success of the first cohort of Tech Talent Accelerator grantees led OWS to award BHEF and NEBHE with a second round of Tech Talent Accelerator funding that will expand the cohort of higher education grantees to up to 13 partnerships. 

Tech Talent Accelerator 2.0 will not only continue to create business-higher education partnerships that lead to new tailored tech credentials through additional grantees and business engagement, but it will also provide booster grants to expand the reach of current Tech Talent Accelerator grantees. TTA 2.0 will offer opportunities to advance the tech talent ecosystem in Connecticut, including a statewide tech talent summit bringing together industry partners, stakeholders, and experts to advance a strategic tech talent action plan, gain employer hiring commitments, and offer students the chance to network with hiring managers.

The twelve Tech Talent Accelerator grantees and their focus areas are:

Albertus Magnus College
Data Science for Bio/Pharma
Industry partner: Greater New Haven Chamber     

Charter Oak State College
Industry partner: Travelers     

Connecticut College
Information Technology
Industry partner: Accenture      

Fairfield University
Industry partner: Vancord 

Mitchell College* 
Cybersecurity with focus on foundational skills for neurodiverse tech workforce 
Industry partner: Cerberus Enterprise Software, LLC d/b/a INsrcD 

Quinnipiac University* 
Cybersecurity in Healthcare/Pentesting 
Industry partners: Cornell Weill Medical Center, Clearwater Compliance, Help at Home, CornellScott-Hill Medical, Yale New Haven, ISC2CT Industry Group, IGT Gaming, Fortify Gaming, Vancord, Kyber Security   

Southern Connecticut State College
Cloud Computing
Industry partner: Ancera

University of Bridgeport
Industry partner: CGD LLC, CYPROTECK Inc.  

University of Connecticut Stamford
Cloud Computing (Google Cert.)     
Industry partner: Synchrony Financial 

University of Hartford*
Mobile Application Development      
Industry partner: Infosys 

University of New Haven*
Game Design and Development
Industry partners: Pleiadian Systems Corporation, ARSOME Technology Group, SphereGen     

University of Saint Joseph's*
Google Data Analytics, AI/ML, AWS Cloud Computing     
Industry partner: CGI 

*Participant in Tech Talent Accelerator 1.0 and 2.0 


Businesses interested in expanding and diversifying their tech talent pipeline through high-performing partnerships with two and four-year colleges and universities, should contact: Candace Williams, director of regional initiatives, at

Download a PDF about TTA.

1 Lightcast™.(2022). Retrieved 10 4, 2023.
2 P20 WIN. Comprehensive Study on Technology Talent in Connecticut, P20WIN Governing Board, 2018,
3 West, Debra. “Connecticut Needs More Coders, Engineers and Computer Science Pros.” Connecticut Post, 17 June 2019,