My Favorites

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the Connecticut Office of Workforce Strategy, in collaboration with Social Venture Partners Connecticut and supported by a generous grant from Bank of America, is hiring two new workforce strategy leaders to help execute the strategic vision for workforce development laid out in the Governor’s Workforce Council strategic plan, a guiding document that outlines initiatives centered on helping connect individuals with high-quality jobs in the state.

Austin Hutchinson and Ben Stang will join the team as workforce strategy directors in IT and healthcare, respectively. In their new roles, Hutchinson and Stang will work closely with the Office of Workforce Strategy to support the roll out of CareerConneCT, a job training program that aims to connect 8,000 participants to in-demand jobs. In addition, they will help coordinate workforce development initiatives focused on their respective industries, ranging from developing more flexible, industry-aligned job training programs, designing career pathway programs for high school students, expanding recruitment of marginalized populations into employment opportunities, and increasing business engagement through the regional sector partnerships.

Prior to taking this position, Hutchinson served as the IBM Program Manager for the Norwalk P-TECH program, an innovative early college program serving hundreds of Norwalk students. He also served as a teacher with Teach for America. Stang previously served as an associate program officer at The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust overseeing a health care grant portfolio and worked for Community Healthcare Network, a federally qualified health center in New York City.

Bank of America is one of the first private companies to provide support to the Office of Workforce Strategy to help execute Governor Lamont’s vision for workforce development in Connecticut. CareerConneCT, and several other active initiatives, will help increase the healthcare and IT workforce by over 2,500 people each over the next three years.

“Especially given the pandemic, Connecticut needs to make sure that our healthcare and IT workforces are fully operational and meeting the growing needs of our local economy,” Governor Lamont said. “I am excited for Ben and Austin to bring their years of industry experience to drive this important work forward. Having industry partners like Bank of America step up early in this process and provide direct support not only furthers the mission of the Governor’s Workforce Council but encourages additional partners to do the same.”

“We are very excited to have Austin and Ben join us to offer their expertise in program development and partnerships with educational institutions and employers in these high demand industry sectors,” March Argosh, executive director of Social Venture Partners Connecticut, said. “We are also most grateful to Bank of America for championing equitable workforce development in our state and nationwide. In addition to serving on the Governor’s Workforce Council and participating in the regional sector partnerships, Bank of America has provided significant funding for innovative healthcare job training programs. We look forward to a deep and continuing relationship.”

“Bank of America’s investment will significantly accelerate Connecticut’s development of career pathways in IT and healthcare, while providing high quality career opportunities for thousands of people from marginalized populations,” Dr. Kelli-Marie Vallieres, Connecticut’s chief workforce officer, said.

“As we find ways to grow Connecticut’s economy, public and private partnerships are key to preparing individuals for jobs, building a more robust pipeline of diverse talent, and fueling local economic mobility,” Joe Gianni, president of Bank of America of Greater Hartford, said. “Bank of America is committed to connecting individuals to meaningful jobs and we are eager to see the impact CareerConneCT will have on thousands of local individuals and families.”

Social Venture Partners Connecticut is a social impact organization that provides management consulting and capacity building services to nonprofit organizations, businesses, educational institutions, and state and local government entities; thereby fostering collaborative solutions to critical social challenges. As social change makers, the organization envisions a future where all people in Connecticut have the opportunity for high-quality education and economic livelihoods with family sustainable earnings. To learn more, visit


Original press release publish on February 18, 2022.