Apprenticeship Dollars Headed to Connecticut

09.22.2015
HR & Safety

Feds award state $5 million grant

On Sept. 9, Gov. Malloy announced that Connecticut has been awarded a $5 million federal grant to expand apprenticeship programs in high-growth industries, with a focus on training for the manufacturing, healthcare, and business services sectors.

Administered by the state Department of Labor, the funding comes as part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s American Apprenticeship Initiative.

“As our economy continues to grow, so does the demand for skilled workers to fill new jobs,” says the governor. “We not only need to attract new companies: which we’re doing each and every day: but we need to ensure that training is aligned with the needs of those companies. We have one of the most educated workforces in the country: and we need to keep it that way. I thank the U.S. Department of Labor and Secretary Tom Perez for this grant which will help us to continue our progress in bringing down the unemployment rate by helping companies create good jobs as we prepare residents with the requisite skills.”

In the past year, Connecticut has added nearly 5,500 healthcare jobs, as well as more than 5,000 jobs in the professional and business services sector. The manufacturing sector had added an additional 2,000 jobs.

According to State Labor Commissioner Sharon M. Palmer, the grant will fund the department’s Connecticut American Apprenticeship Initiative, including assistance with tuition and training costs for 1,000 registered apprentices and 500 pre-apprentices statewide in the high-demand industries of advanced manufacturing, healthcare, and business services.

“Significant commitments from employers, ranging from small machine shops to General Dynamics Electric Boat for apprenticeship placement, as well as support from Connecticut’s Workforce Investment Boards and the Board of Regents, will help our agency to expand the apprenticeship model and ensure the sustainability of this valuable workforce program,” says Palmer.

While similar in purpose to the recent two-year, $7.8 million state-funded Manufacturing Innovation Fund Apprenticeship Program that is being used to build apprenticeships in the manufacturing fields, this federal grant will also build programs in healthcare and business services, as well as support successful apprenticeship programs in construction and related fields.

According to the USDOL, grantees will use funding to build upon the success of current apprenticeship programs, with a focus on launching apprenticeship models in new, high-growth fields, aligning apprenticeships to pathways for further learning and career advancement, supporting apprenticeship models that work, and providing additional opportunities and access to those interested in taking part in an apprenticeship program.

Companies interested in the American Apprenticeship Initiative can contact state Apprenticeship Program Supervisor Ken Duff at Kenneth.duff@ct.gov or 860.263.6167.

Those interested in the Apprenticeship Manufacturing Innovation Fund announced in July can contact Eleanor Lennon at Eleanor.lennon@ct.gov or 860.263.6731.

For general information, click here.

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