Governor Ned Lamont yesterday announced that the Connecticut Office of Workforce Strategy is being awarded a $23.9 million American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to support the creation of the Strengthening Sectoral Partnerships Initiative.
The initiative will provide resources to support ten Regional Sector Partnerships (RSPs) across Connecticut to train and place more than 2,000 people – particularly from historically-underserved communities – in high-demand jobs in four priority sector areas, including manufacturing, healthcare, information technology, bioscience.
The RSPs are a coordinated and collaborative team of public partners in education, workforce development, and economic development, led by business to collaboratively advance the industries’ competitiveness by providing the resources necessary to develop innovative programs to address the talent shortage. Programs include building career pathway programs in high school to prepare students for careers upon graduation, expanding access to short-term training programs including Google and AWS certificates offered by community colleges, and creating more equity pathway programs from entry-level healthcare jobs to degreed nurses.
Governor Lamont said, “This is award is great news for Connecticut. This new federal funding will support my administration’s work to provide Connecticut businesses access to the talent they need to grow in Connecticut and to provide residents from historically underserved populations and communities access to the training and support they need to find stable, good-paying jobs in manufacturing, IT, and healthcare. I thank the Biden administration and Congress for passing the American Rescue Plan Act, which continues to support states like Connecticut with resources to accelerate equitable economic growth.”
Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said, “President Biden’s American Rescue Plan funding through the Good Jobs Challenge will make significant, tangible investments in critical sectors within local communities. These employer-led, statewide training programs create economic resilience for the State of Connecticut and a more competitive workforce, while enriching individuals’ futures through quality jobs.”
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo said, “The Good Jobs Challenge is bringing together diverse partners and local leaders to advance workforce training programs across the country. Led by the Office of Workforce Strategy, this program will pursue a robust, statewide approach, bringing together employers and training programs, to prepare workers to secure good-paying jobs in Connecticut.”
Senator Richard Blumenthal said, “With this significant federal grant, Connecticut’s Office of Workforce Strategy will be able to train thousands of people for high-demand jobs within the manufacturing, healthcare, information technology, and biomedical industries – bolstering our economy while investing in the next generation of workers. I am thrilled that this investment is being made in Connecticut’s workforce, and I will continue fighting with my colleagues in Congress to bring back more federal dollars for these vital workforce training programs.”
Senator Chris Murphy said, “This $23.9 million grant is a huge win for our Connecticut workers and businesses. This new initiative, now possible thanks to American Rescue Plan funding, will train workers on the skills they need before placing them in a good-paying job in one of Connecticut’s growing, high-demand industries. Workforce development is always a smart investment, and I’ll continue pushing for more federal support for programs in our state.”
Congressman John B. Larson said, “This $24 million grant from the American Rescue Plan’s Good Jobs Challenge will invest in a stronger and more diverse workforce across Connecticut’s most in-demand industries. We passed the American Rescue Plan in Congress to kickstart the economy and put people back to work. I am pleased to announce the Strengthening Sectoral Partnerships Initiative to recruit, train, and retain workers in high-paying health care, manufacturing, and technology jobs right here in Connecticut, and thank Governor Lamont for his forward-looking vision for our state’s workforce.”
Congressman Joe Courtney said, “Connecticut is perfectly positioned to leverage these funds thanks to the hard work of Kelli-Marie Vallieres and the Office of Workforce Strategy. This is exactly the type of focused investment we need to keep growing our economy and to build the high-skilled workforce we need. These Rescue Plan funds are going to help accelerate an already highly energized manufacturing and technology sector in Connecticut’s second Congressional district and throughout our state. With so much economic opportunity on the horizon – from clean energy production, to increased shipbuilding, to high demand for health care professionals – an extra boost to our already-successful workforce skills training programs will really help set our entire region up for success.”
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro said, “I am glad to see funding my colleagues and I helped secure in the American Rescue Plan go to needed workforce training programs in Connecticut from the Good Jobs Challenge. These investments will support our economic recovery by helping put Americans in underserved communities back to work in in-demand, high-paying jobs that help them deal with rising costs and support their families. I applaud the Commerce Department for establishing the Good Jobs Challenge to support our ongoing economic recovery and to help working Americans get ahead. Thank you to Governor Lamont, who helped launch these initiatives to support Connecticut’s long-term economic development. They will support job training programs that have helped Nutmeggers get the necessary skills to transition into new, high-paying jobs that help them get ahead.”
Congressman Jim Himes said, “The Good Jobs Challenge is a welcomed investment in the expansion and diversification of Connecticut’s workforce. This federal funding will create training opportunities and generate good-paying jobs for underserved communities, while bolstering our global competitiveness through domestic production. I am excited to work with the Office of Workforce Strategy as these partnerships evolve and begin to shape Connecticut’s next generation of leaders.”
Congresswoman Jahana Hayes said, “Workforce development has been a priority since I took office. I am pleased our efforts in Congress will directly benefit Connecticut. This program will be crucial for diversifying our workforce and giving my constituent access to good-paying jobs. I look forward to continuing to work with Congress and the Governor on this effort.”
This grant is funded through the American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge. The program awarded grants to 32 worker-centered, industry-led workforce training partnerships across the country. The $500 million program is expanding opportunities for more Americans to access and secure good-paying jobs by investing in innovative approaches to advance worker-centered, industry-led workforce training partnerships.