HARTFORD, CT – Governor Ned Lamont on Friday announced that he is allocating $15 million from the state’s Coronavirus Relief Fund, which utilizes federal CARES Act money, to fund innovative workforce programs that will provide job training to more than 1,000 displaced workers in the state and connect them to high-growth, in-demand jobs.
“This pandemic has drastically impacted the lives and livelihood of so many people in our state, and these workforce development programs are being expanded so that we can provide displaced workers with the skills needed to match them with in-demand jobs,” Governor Lamont said. “Our administration is committed to offering meaningful and lasting support to the workers of Connecticut so that our state and our economy emerge from this crisis stronger than ever.”
The Governor’s Workforce Council, with the support of the recently formed Workforce Development Unit in the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), will utilize the funding on 19 programs that offer participants access to supportive services, including childcare and transportation, as well as a general training subsidy and job placement services that connect participants with full-time employment. In selecting programs for investment, the Governor’s Workforce Council prioritized programs aligned to current in-demand jobs with strong career pathways across several industries, most notably healthcare, information technology, and manufacturing. In total, approximately 1,100 participants will receive training and employment opportunities from this initiative.
“COVID-19 has accelerated many of the changes that have been reshaping our economy,” Garrett Moran, Chairman of the Governor’s Workforce Council, said. “The money from the Coronavirus Relief Fund was an instrumental first step in not only getting residents back to work, but getting them back to work in careers that are pandemic-proof for the future.”
Kelli Vallieres, executive director of DECD’s Workforce Development Unit, said, “This statewide program is a great example of how Connecticut can leverage its strong workforce partners, such as our Regional Workforce Development Boards, community colleges, and local training providers, among others, to create industry-aligned programs aimed at getting Connecticut residents back to work.”
The funding will be shared among the following programs:
· Workforce Alliance, serving South Central Connecticut, is receiving $1.4 million to partner with DCI and Gateway Community College to train 156 participants for jobs across IT, warehousing and healthcare such as help desk technicians, cyber security specialists and business analysts; certified power fork lift operators; and certified nursing assistants with special training to work in long-term care facilities and with the elderly.
· Capital Workforce Partners, serving North Central Connecticut, is receiving $3.8 million to partner with Yale New Haven Health, Aetna/ CVS, Year Up, DCI, and local community colleges to train 418 participants for jobs across healthcare, IT, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, financial services, and construction. Such jobs include, CNAs, pharmacy technicians, licensed trades workers, insurance sales agents, accounting and auditing clerks, truck drivers, web developers, user support specialists, and mechatronic and industrial automation technicians.
· The Eastern Workforce Investment Board is receiving $686,024 to partner with workforce stakeholders such as employers and community colleges to offer skills training to about 86 participants in healthcare, manufacturing and transportation in jobs such as pharmacy technicians, CNAs, commercial drivers, and a variety of skills-based manufacturing trades.
· The WorkPlace, serving Southwestern Connecticut, is receiving $250,115 to partner with local employers and community colleges to train 50 people as community health workers.
· The Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board is receiving $289,191 to partner with a local utility services company to train 19 participants for construction jobs including laborers, drivers, operators, plumbers, gas fitters, and foremen and $1,689,624 to provide supportive services to all WDB program participants across the state.
· In addition to Connecticut’s Workforce Development Boards, several strategic state partners received funding for additional training programs:
o The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) is receiving $915,000 to train 60 residents for advanced manufacturing jobs in Quality, Inspection, and Industry 4.0 technologies.
o Connecticut State Colleges and Universities is receiving $762,663 for community colleges programs to prepare 100 students for jobs such as medical assistants, emergency medical technicians, phlebotomy technicians and central sterile processing technicians.
o The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood is receiving $5.3 million to partner with All Our Kin to train and license 165 family childcare programs and provide the overall childcare supply for individuals in workforce training programs.
o An additional $1.4 million has been allocated to the five Regional Workforce Development Boards to provide supportive services to over 600 workforce training participants.