Connecticut Governor

In this Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 photo, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont delivers his budget address at the State Capitol in Hartford, Conn. 

(The Center Square) – Short-term training programs will now be accessible to workers who were negatively impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced in a news release the CareerConneCT program, a $70 million investment geared to helping workers attain the skills and needed certifications to re-join the workforce in high-demand careers.

“CareerConneCT will not only help unemployed individuals find work, but it will also help modernize our workforce and strengthen our economy by providing innovative companies across our state with access to the most educated workforce in the country,” Lamont said.

The program will be administered by the state’s Office of Workforce Strategy with funding allocated through the state’s cut of American Rescue Plan Act dollars.

According to the release, training providers will be eligible for the next four years to apply for grants to create programs that feature industry-recognized credentials, along with job placement services. The programs will span manufacturing, information technology, health care, infrastructure, clean energy, and other industries that are in high demand of workers.

Grants will be available each February and August, and it is anticipated the program will support 8,000 participants. Applicants are now being sought for the first round of grants. Training providers have until Feb. 20 to submit an online application at portal.ct.gov/careerconnect.

Dr. Kelli Vallieres, the state’s chief workforce officer, said the program is “designed to create a more collaborative and inclusive workforce system.”

“Together, these two principles will ensure that no individual, especially from a historically marginalized community or organization, is left behind as we prepare our workforce for a 21st century economy,” Vallieres said in the release.

Mark Agosh, chair of the Governor’s Workforce Council, said the program “fulfills the mission” that was outlined in the strategic plan that works to ensure workers have the skills and support necessary to thrive in the modern economy.

“The pandemic created urgent challenges for workers, employers, and for the Governor’s Workforce Council,” Agosh said in the release. “The launch of CareerConneCT is an important milestone in meeting that challenge and breaking down barriers to employment for our residents, particularly those from underrepresented populations.”

Associate Editor

Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky.