Closing the Gap to Skilled Workers in Connecticut
With businesses—and manufacturers in particular– concerned about finding enough skilled workers in Connecticut, the jobs bill includes several measures to help make sure employers have the workforce necessary to meet the needs of the 21st century global economy.
The state Labor Commissioner will be required to review current training programs and the possible use of manufacturing industry volunteers for training students after hours at technical high schools as well as community technical colleges (HB 6801, Section 30).
Also under the new law, $2.2 million in bonding will go to expand Asnuntuck Community College’s precision manufacturing program and establish manufacturing technology programs in three additional community colleges. Eligible colleges will have to demonstrate a commitment to precision manufacturing and an ability to establish and expand such a program (Sections 31-32).
Local and regional boards of education will be required to inform middle and high school students and parents about the availability of technical programs and agricultural science programs (Section 33).
To emphasize the important links between education, training and economic growth, the new law requires the commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development to report to the legislature every year about DECD's:
- relationship with the state’s technical school system
- efforts to facilitate collaboration between public schools and the business community
- programs to meet Connecticut’s workforce training needs
- efforts to use technical schools in business assistance and economic development programs (Section 34)
In other initiatives to boost the quality of Connecticut’s workforce, the list of activities that can be considered “unpaid worksite experiences” by participants in the Connecticut Career Certificate Program has been expanded (Section 35-36).
What’s more, the Office of Legislative Management (OLM) and the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) will evaluate the effectiveness of state programs in aligning Connecticut’s workforce with current and future needs (Section 37).
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