CONNECT researched the effect the five member schools have on the region’s economic well being, and published the results, which detailed the wide-ranging, beneficial economic impact of the institutions on the region.

All five CONNECT colleges are deeply involved in initiatives that stimulate and boost the economic life of the region. The multi-pronged effort is accomplished through a variety of educational programs and direct collaboration with public and private groups and institutions

Massasoit Community College annually works with Bridgewater State, Massachusetts Tech Prep, the Brockton-area Youth Council, area businesses, and high schools on a program to bridge the gap between education and employment. Through the program, small teams of high school and college educators participate in workplace activities, and the insights gained help shape relevant, contemporary curricula.

Thanks to Bristol Community College’s “Women in Technology” venture, 62 percent of the 300-plus women who have participated in the program have entered engineering and technology careers. The College works with the Bristol Tech Prep Consortium to tap women engineers and technicians who offer mentoring and direction at local businesses.

Bridgewater State University’s Institute for Regional Development joins forces with municipalities and non-profit agencies to tackle issues and concerns through applied research, training, and technical assistance. In 2003, more than 350 employees from 60 organizations received training through the Institute.

UMass Dartmouth’s Advanced Technology & Manufacturing Center provides cutting-edge technological knowledge and assistance for people and businesses whose high tech visions need a nurturing environment. Eight start-up tech venture companies are housed in the Fall River facility, with more expected in 2004. Faculty offer their expertise to industries conducting research; students have the chance to work with their professors on substantive research projects; and the center’s programs foster the exchange of ideas and technical know-how.