Governor Ned Lamont today welcomed U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to Connecticut to visit the apprenticeship program administered by the Connecticut Department of Labor at Electric Boat in Groton for an opportunity to speak with participating apprentices and discuss the importance of registered apprenticeship and job training programs on economic growth and prosperity.
The officials were joined by Senator Richard Blumenthal; Congressman Joe Courtney; Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro; Bernard Treml, Regional Director, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship; and Connecticut Department of Labor Deputy Commissioner Danté Bartolomeo.
“This apprenticeship program is a partnership between the Connecticut Department of Labor, our higher education institutions, and the business community, and it has a long and storied history here in Connecticut,” Governor Lamont said. “Programs like this are a vital part of the nation’s employment make-up, and an important resource to help provide workers with the tools necessary for in-demand jobs.”
“This pathbreaking apprenticeship program is our future,” Senator Blumenthal said. “A federal-state partnership, it’s a win-win for workers and business – providing critical skill training for new jobs and exciting opportunities. Over the years, Electric Boat’s program has recruited bright and motivated minds, and turned job training into long-term, high-quality jobs for hundreds of workers. Their skilled craftsmanship creates the technologically advanced machines that make Connecticut proud and is the future of the submarine workforce.”
“I can’t underscore enough how important it is to have Secretaries Walsh and Raimondo in Connecticut today,” Senator Chris Murphy said. “Their visit is another testament to the Biden administration’s focus on strengthening our manufacturing workforce. Having seen the importance of these apprenticeship programs firsthand, I’m proud the secretaries will be able to witness the criticality of these programs to building a world-class workforce in Connecticut.”
“I am pleased to welcome Secretaries Walsh and Raimondo to Electric Boat to highlight one of Connecticut’s many successful apprenticeship programs that serve as models nationwide,” Congresswoman DeLauro said. “As more students and families are concerned about the rising cost of higher education, registered apprenticeships are a valuable resource for students and employers. Not only do students receive on-the-job training while earning a paycheck, they come into the workplace with fully developed skills that are beneficial to employers. As chair of the subcommittee charged with funding and overseeing the Department of Labor, I am proud to have helped establish the federal Apprenticeship Grants program in 2016 and most recently funded this program with $185 million last year. Now, as chair of the House Appropriations Committee and the LHHS subcommittee, I believe that we must continue to invest in programs that provide job training opportunities, and I will continue to fight for more funding in Congress.”
“Eastern Connecticut is the perfect place for Secretary Walsh and Secretary Raimondo to highlight the Biden American Jobs Plan, which will invest billions to train our nation’s workforce for the 21st century,” Congressman Courtney said. “Today, Electric Boat has the largest backlog of submarine construction in their entire 120-year history, so it’s clear that the President’s Jobs Plan is sorely needed. Electric Boat has benefited greatly from Fitzgerald Act apprenticeship programs like the Manufacturing Pipeline, and now – with President Biden’s Jobs Plan and a House of Representatives leading the push to reauthorize the Fitzgerald Act for the modern era – our region is prepared to capitalize even further. I look forward to sharing this special story with the two secretaries.”
The Connecticut Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship Training currently has 6,710 registered apprentices and nearly 1,700 employers that span 50 occupations. Over the past 20 years, 900 apprentices have worked at Electric Boat.
“The Connecticut Department of Labor is proud to have such a longstanding and productive registered apprenticeship program and we are honored to have Secretary Walsh and Secretary Raimondo here to see it in action,” Connecticut Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby said. “With about 1,700 employers involved in the program, we have apprentices working throughout the state and across multiple sectors. Electric Boat has more than 240 registered apprentices – the Connecticut Department of Labor program is a big part of developing the next generation of sub builders and promoting the nation’s security.”
“Connecticut State Colleges and Universities are proud to be a key component of the talent pipeline for large manufacturers like Electric Boat, and the smaller companies down the supply chain on which they rely,” Connecticut State College and Universities Interim President Dr. Jane Gates said. “We know that with thousands of manufacturing positions expected to open in coming decades, there has never been a better time to look into one of our advanced manufacturing programs. I thank Secretaries Walsh and Raimondo for coming to Connecticut – we look forward to working with them to ensure our state’s workforce meets the needs of the 21st century economy.”