Workforce development plans that were knocked off course by COVID-19 are getting a new push in Connecticut with more than $60 million in federal pandemic relief, Gov. Ned Lamont said Tuesday.
Kelli Vallieres, executive director of the Connecticut Workforce Development Unit, said 8,000 workers will be trained. The state will earmark $14 million each to manufacturing, health care and information technology ; $10 million to infrastructure and green jobs; and about $9 million to other industries.Demand is highest in Connecticut for jobs in manufacturing, health care and information technology, Vallieres said. Applications for the money will emphasize underrepresented workers such as communities of color, former prison inmates, veterans and the disabled.
Funding will be available to regional workforce boards, nonprofit organizations, colleges and other agencies that apply for it, she said. The organizations will be asked to collaborate to strengthen pre-assessment and technical and employability skills, Vallieres said. The deadline to apply for the money is Feb. 20.
Employers are not eligible to apply for the money, but will benefit from the training.
Lamont in 2019 established an advisory group that submitted a report the following year recommending strategies to match skilled workers with jobs in manufacturing, health care and information technology. The group also turned its attention to social problems that trap low-wage workers.
The governor said his workforce development plans were hit by “immediate short-term COVID-related interruptions.”
The federal money will be a key piece of the state’s economic development strategy, Lamont said. Employers looking to set up shop or expand can ask for aid tied to the federal funding.