On Aug. 16, state senate candidate and local entrepreneur Mike Nicastro hosted a workshop with local business owners, higher education officials and community leaders to address the growing issue of jobs for college graduates and the upcoming wave of retiring business owners known as the Silver Tsunami.
“We have a core of small businesses here in the state that has been successful but may not have a well thought out succession plan,” said Nicastro, according to a press release from his campaign. “We have four major state universities, dozens of community colleges and Charter Oak State College, which have 90,000 students that want to stay and work here in Connecticut, but they struggle to find jobs. Together we need to develop a low cost but highly effective process that can create a link between the two.”
The workshop was a collaborative effort to understand the concern with the effects of the Silver Tsunami and how the state of Connecticut can move forward with solutions, said the campaign press release. Nicastro was joined by Drew Harris, professor of entrepreneurship at Central Connecticut State University; president of Charter Oak State College Ed Klonoski; Kimberly James, director of Career Service Tunxis Community College; Cindy Scoville, CEO of the Central Connecticut Chamber of Commerce; Victor Lugo, owner of Barley Vine; and Pete Mirabello, the owner of Metal Finishing Technologies.
“Other states such as Alabama are currently working on this issue as well,” said Victor Lugo, Owner of the Barley Vine, according to the press release. “They are building a program that allows students to go and work for these businesses and receive hands on training and job shadowing not just from the floor but top management as well and at the same time acquire a first class education in the classroom.”
Nicastro added, the press release said, “We need to incent and encourage businesses to reach out to these students and peak their interest in becoming entrepreneurs. Most students would like to own a business but just aren’t sure where to begin.”
The campaign press release the workshop provided an opportunity for stakeholders to meet and work on a solution for the Silver Tsunami phenomena, which is slowly taking hold in the state. The conversation was the first of many planned by the Nicastro campaign.
The press release from Nicastro’s campaign said the candidate is focused on five points:
Succession Planning – Addressing the close to 47% of small businesses that are owned by residents who are 55 years of age or older with no meaning succession plan – a small business “Silver Tsunami” and an unanticipated economic peril.
Fiscal management – Developing a fiscally sound budget which is not a “set it and forget it” effort.
Innovation – Reinvigorating a sense of innovation in our economy and in how we govern.
Entrepreneurship – Celebrating and encouraging innovation to inspire the entrepreneurs in our midst.
Higher Education – Supporting the state’s higher education assets in its colleges and universities and the opportunity they give to our future generations.
The press release said the Nicastro for the 31st campaign continues to grow and the fundraising under SEEC rules is near the finish line.