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Rep. Courtney Visits to Discuss Planned Innovation Hub

Photo of Connecticut Congressman Joe Courtney with Mitchell President Tracy Espy

Pictured above: President Espy and Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) meet with other community members to discuss the planned Digital Innovation Hub.

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) visited Mitchell College to meet with Mitchell College President Tracy Y. Espy, Ph.D., and other college stakeholders to talk about the planned Digital Innovation Hub for Educational Excellence. The visit included a tour of the Mitchell College Library, which will house flexible learning and collaboration spaces both for Mitchell students and non-student learners, and provide access to computers and support staff for the digital learning supported by the Digital Invitation Hub. The goal of the Hub is to support workforce development needs in the region.

Courtney recently secured $555,000 in federal funding for the program, which will provide new credentialing and coursework in STEM and behavioral health careers for traditional and non-traditional students. The funding will be used to purchase equipment to support in-person and virtual learning as well as STEM education. One staff member would be hired to administer the program, partnering with college officials and professional organizations to develop new programming.

“Education and skills training opportunities are the cornerstone of growing eastern CT’s workforce, and I was happy to work with the City of New London and Mitchell College to secure direct, targeted funding for the college’s new Digital Innovation Hub as part of our Community Project Requests in the 2022 budget,” said Courtney. “Dr. Espy and her team are focused on ensuring Mitchell College remains an integral part of training up the next generation of qualified medical professionals, engineers, programmers and other in-demand professions so that more of their students have the skills to step right into these high-skill, high-pay industries—and that in turn is going to attract even more employers to our region. That’s exactly what the Digital Innovation Hub will be focused on, STEM and behavioral health coursework, and I’m looking forward to seeing the program get underway now that our Community Project Request has finally been made law.”

Espy said, “We are so grateful to Congressman Courtney for supporting our vision to provide our community with more options to prepare for in-demand careers, filling a need in today’s society. Workforce development is critical to the well-being of our region and our state and we look forward to Mitchell playing an important role in that.”