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April 23, 2021

Lamont proposes spending $103M in federal aid on workforce development

Kelli-Marie Vallieres

Gov. Ned Lamont has proposed spending $103 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds on job training and other workforce development efforts.

In a statement Lamont said the spending would help connect Connecticut's approximately 140,000 unemployed residents with employers in the state who the governor said are hiring at a record pace.

"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,” Lamont said.

The initiative would be led by the state Office of Workforce Strategy, an agency the Lamont administration established under the auspices of the Department of Economic and Community Development last year. 

Kelli-Marie Vallieres, the former manufacturing CEO who heads the workforce strategy office, said the plan would include coordination between regional workforce boards, employers and community organizations.

“Bringing employers, educators, and our regional workforce development boards to the table together has been a proven formula for success when developing training programs,” Valieres said.

Lamont's spending proposal includes:

  • $95.5 million to reskill and upskill 9,000 displaced workers through sector-based training programs;
  • $2 million 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 million to provide employment opportunities to 1,000 at-risk and disengaged youth during and beyond the summer; and
  • $3.7 million to extend the operating hours of ten Connecticut Technical Education and Career System programs so that hundreds of additional learners are served each year.

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