Students packed into Alumni Hall Wed., Jan. 22 to hear John Rathgeber, CEO and President of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association speak. The lecture was hosted by the School of Business.
Rathgeber discussed the importance of retaining Connecticut’s youths after they have completed college.
“We need to be attractive to the young, create opportunities and make Connecticut a place you (the audience) would want to live,” Rathgeber said.
Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) is a non-profit, trade organization that is comprised of more than 10,000 corporate members throughout the state of Connecticut.
Their $22 million dollar budget comes from both member dues and private donations. CBIA works to lobby politicians and state agency’s to promote a multitude of developments and improvements here in Connecticut.
One of CBIA’s main focuses is to retain Connecticut’s youths after college, opposed to students leaving Connecticut for cities like New York, Boston, or Washington D.C.
While this particular goal was the focus of Rathgeber’s speech, CBIA also works to attract businesses to the state of Connecticut.
“We work to create a climate in Connecticut where business’ and entrepreneurs want to make investments here,” Rathgeber said.
Rathgeber was available for questions after the lecture, and several students inquired as to what exactly CBIA is doing to make Connecticut more appealing. Rathgeber explained that things like transportation options, investments in urban centers and increased housing in urban areas are all things being done to make Connecticut more attractive to businesses and young employees. Rathgeber explained that Boston employed a method where they set up affordable housing that was aimed at empty nesters and young, well compensated workers, i.e. bankers/lawyers. It proved to be extremely successful and is what the CBIA wants to attempt to do here. CBIA is already underway with a project in Hartford, which follows the Boston model.
“I thought that Rathgeber was great. Being from Connecticut I understand how important it is for the state to hang onto it’s students, Connecticut is more than just a place to pass through during your college years,” John Delaney, a senior finance major, said.