On Monday, August 19, 2019, the CTData Collaborative hosted over 30 partners for a data forum on education and workforce development with the state’s Chief Data Officer, Tyler Kleykamp. Attendees included data lovers and users across multiple sectors including nonprofits, state agencies, philanthropy, higher education, advocacy organizations, for-profits, and independent consultants. CTData Executive Director, Michelle Riordan-Nold, remarked, “The diverse group of stakeholders engaged in the forum demonstrates the complexity of the topic and the necessity to address educational and workforce needs in the state.”
The conversation focused on education and workforce development outcomes, including public assistance recipients, income status, and other barriers to employment, education, and training. The charge was lofty – identify and prioritize the most pressing data questions related to education and workforce development. The Data Forum also provided the opportunity to identify existing data sources and discuss gaps in data collection and dissemination. As Tyler Kleykamp said, “this is the time to go beyond the traditional choropleth map and make open data more meaningful and actionable to address the state’s most pressing data questions.”
Attendees rose to the occasion, submitting questions in advance and engaging in a lively discussion during the event. Questions of interest included:
- How is college and career readiness being operationalized?
- Do our education and training programs align with the jobs available?
- What types of employees are employers seeking?
- How is success in workforce development being defined?
- What is a competitive workforce?
- How can we measure and incentivize persistence in the workforce?
- To what extent are trends in industry and the marketplace in alignment?
This Forum was a first step in moving the State Data Plan’s Focal Point on Education and Workforce Development forward. CTData will work with the State’s Chief Data Officer and other interested partners to continue to define and prioritize the key questions. Once these are defined we will identify the data that currently exists, data that can exist as open data, and gaps in existing data. Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates about this work.