CEDAS Gathers at MxCC New Media Center for Quarterly Meeting



Members of CEDAs gathered for the first quarterly meeting on March 24, 2015 at Middlesex Community College (MxCC) campus in Middletown to discuss How Community Colleges are Leveraging Resources to Meet Community Workforce Needs.”

The event was hosted by Center for New Media and the Health & Life Sciences Career Initiative at Middlesex Community College , and was organized Trenton Wright, CEDAS Board member and Coordinator of Institutional Advancement, MxCC. Approximately 40 Economic Development Professionals and members attended.

Presentations from a panel of distinguished speakers that included Kate Miller, Curriculum Innovation coordinator for the Health and Life Sciences Career Initiative at MCC, Richard Leonce, Director of Center for New Media, MxCC, Hubert Godin instructor Technology Studies and Engineering Science, Tracey Ariel, Director, Advanced Manufacturing Centers initiative for the Board of Reagents for Higher Education, Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU), and Marjorie Valentin, Associate Dean of Continuing Education/Community Services at the Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, CT.

The panelists enlightened the audience about the various programs offered at Middlesex and Three Rivers Community College to meet the employment needs of Connecticut companies. The panel highlighted the specialized curriculum they are offering to provide essential skills and knowledge for those seeking careers in advanced manufacturing, in the allied health fields and for job opportunities available in broadcast-cinema, multimedia, graphic, design and communications. Connecticut companies are looking for skilled workforce in all these areas, and the community colleges offer the courses to attain the needed skills for these jobs.

After the panel presentation, tours of MXCC Center for New Media were conducted The 5,986-square foot Center is one of the most advanced media production facilities in the country designed specifically to train today’s media professionals. Middlesex Community College was a recipient of a $2.5 million U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Act Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant for a New Media Studies initiative. This new initiative is designed to meet the state’s needs for skilled workers in new media industries. The Connecticut Department of Labor estimates an 11.7% growth trajectory through 2020, including 420 new annual jobs and 1,322 total annual job openings in the occupational group of arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media.

Post-meeting, some of the guests gathered nearly at First and Last Tavern in Downtown Middletown where Economic Development Director for Middletown and CEDAS member Tom Marano discussed transformation in the City. Tom highlighted Middletown’s newest residential project which aims to attract young professionals to move to Downtown Middletown, he also highlighted the Middletown Riverfront Project, a project that will encourage greater public use along the river and private development around its edges.

CEDAS’ next quarterly meeting will be held in June during the Traveler’s Championship, watch for our newsletter for more details.

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