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Legislation, Grant Aim to Strengthen Connecticut’s Workforce Development

  • Governor Ned Lamont announces plans for increasing Connecticut’s workforce development offerings
  • Includes new training program for industries with high labor demand
  • Lamont also announces $10 million grant for workforce development in IT and manufacturing

Governor Ned Lamont has announced that he will submit a legislative proposal aimed at improving Connecticut’s workforce training opportunities, including a new program to prepare workers for professions in industries with high labor needs. Lamont also announced that the state is receiving a $10 million federal grant for workforce development in information technology and manufacturing.

Lamont is planning to send a slate of proposals to the Connecticut General Assembly in February, including legislation that would provide short-term training programs, improve access to postsecondary education, codify a new state office focused on workforce development, and improve workforce data collection efforts. He said creating opportunities for workers is particularly important due to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, with about 190,000 Connecticut residents filing for unemployment since the pandemic began last spring.

The codification of the Office of Workforce Strategy, which is part of the Department of Economic and Community Development, would help coordinate programs and other efforts between educators, industry partners, community-based organizations, and government agencies. The office would also coordinate short-term training through a new program, CareerConneCT, geared to training in areas with high labor demand such as advanced manufacturing, clean energy, bioscience, cybersecurity, and allied health professions.

In a separate development, Lamont announced that Connecticut has received a $10 million grant from the Department of Labor to improve career pathways in IT and advanced manufacturing. It is anticipated that the grant will foster entry-level and incumbent worker training to approximately 2,000 people.

The grant, part of $145 million awarded by the Department of Labor for workforce development efforts nationwide, is going to Capital Workforce Partners, the workforce development board for greater Hartford area. CWP says it intends to model its program after the efforts of the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board, which works closely with General Dynamics Electric Boat to provide training based on labor needs.

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