HEADLINES

Lamont Announces Proposal for Using American Rescue Plan Funds To Rebuild Connecticut’s Workforce

Governor Ned Lamont yesterday announced that he is proposing to invest $103 million in funding that Connecticut is receiving from the American Rescue Plan Act to ensure that workers whose employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic have access to industry-aligned training programs that address the immediate hiring demands of employers and provide job seekers with employment opportunities.

There are currently 140,000 unemployed individuals in Connecticut. However, companies are hiring at a record pace, with March 2021 showing the highest monthly job posting numbers in the last ten years.

“Investing in our workers is a win-win,” Governor Lamont said. “This $103 million proposed investment focuses on getting residents most affected by the pandemic back to work as quickly as possible in high-demand jobs across the state. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to shape the future of Connecticut’s workforce and ensure it aligns with the needs of the post-pandemic, 21st century economy.”

Governor Lamont’s proposal includes:

  • $95,500,000 to reskill and upskill 9,000 displaced workers through sector-based training programs;
  • $2,000,000 to provide job training and educational support to 1,000 currently or previously incarcerated youth and adults so they can find high-quality jobs aligned to the needs of employers;
  • $2,000,000 to provide employment opportunities to 1,000 at-risk and disengaged youth during and beyond the summer; and
  • $3,700,000 to extend the operating hours of ten Connecticut Technical Education and Career System programs so that hundreds of additional learners are served each year.

The Office of Workforce Strategy will work to convene state agencies, employers, educators, community organizations, regional workforce development boards, and other key stakeholders to effectively coordinate these initiatives. Job training programs would leverage the successful infrastructure from the fall where the Office of Workforce Strategy partnered with the regional workforce development boards and the community colleges to train over 850 individuals who had been displaced by the pandemic in high-demand occupations across a number of key industries, such as healthcare, manufacturing, and IT.

“This work will be driven by partnerships,” Dr. Kelli Vallieres, executive director of the Office of Workforce Strategy, said. “Bringing employers, educators, and our regional workforce development boards to the table together has been a proven formula for success when developing training programs that are aligned to the needs of industry and lead to immediate employment opportunities for students and job seekers.”

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