In a time when thousands of jobs for skilled workers remain unfilled, Gov. Ned Lamont is saying to college graduates “we need you”.
Lamont delivered his first commencement address as the governor of Connecticut Saturday to the 2019 graduating class of Central Connecticut State University.
He invoked the speaker at his own commencement as he addressed the 2,800 students.
Lamont got his degree from Harvard University in 1976. That took place shortly before he’d make a brief stop in Vermont for his first adult job at a newspaper called The Black River Tribune.
“This guy stood up -- it was a pretty tough time in the Seventies – 'stagflation,' president had to resign, no jobs -- and he said ‘go back. Unpack. We have no room for you. Stay with your parents a little longer’,” Lamont said. “Man he was wrong then and he is so wrong today.”
The governor believes graduating in 2019 from a Connecticut institution represents a great opportunity – not just for the students but also for the local economy.
“We need you to step up,” Lamont said. “We need you to think fresh. We need you to take the old ideas and challenge us every day.”
That message resonated with Chelsea Miles, a graduate from CCSU’s graphic design program.
“I was definitely moved. I’m inspired,” Miles said. “I definitely want to do better things and I felt like he gave us the push that we needed.”
James Boothroyd (Harless) also studied graphic design. He heard some political overtones in Lamont’s speech.
“There were definitely some things that he talked about that could’ve been taken as such but I think he was trying to get students to succeed and to invest in Connecticut because that’s going to be the way that Connecticut moves forward,” Boothroyd (Harless) said.
Lamont did get some “boos” when he started talking to the crowd inside the XL Center in downtown Hartford. But, those were gone by the time he wrapped up his speech.