By Anthony Zepperi, Staff Writer
HARTFORD – Gov. Ned Lamont 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,” 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 the program hopes to get people back to work.
“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,” Vallieres said.