In an effort to drive economic growth, Connecticut has launched the “Connecticut 500 Project” – a private-public initiative with the ambitious goal of creating 500,000 new private sector jobs in Connecticut over the next 25 years. The Project was created statutorily in May 2016 through passage of budget legislation and also aims to encourage the creation of 500 new start-ups based on in-state developed intellectual property.
The Project will be administered by the state’s Commission on Economic Competitiveness, which is tasked with getting the Project off the ground by January 1, 2017. The Commission’s first step will be to solicit bids from outside consultants with expertise in economic growth who will work to develop the Project. It will be governed by a permanent board comprised of senior business leaders, chief executive officers of public companies located in Connecticut, state and municipal elected officials, and other community leaders.
The Commission’s board task is to work with businesses, government leaders, and organizations to:
· propose legislation;
· leverage public and private investments in Connecticut and in the Project;
· evaluate Connecticut’s economic development policies;
· solicit private funds or matching public funds; and
· execute any other actions deemed necessary by the board.
The Project also seeks to boost Connecticut’s population by 500,000 people, increase state university graduation rates, and cement the state’s reputation as a national leader in categories like quality of life, public education, private employee salaries, productivity, and income per capita.