The legislature’s Higher Education Committee wrapped up its work on a positive note by approving some promising legislative proposals—including one that could help grow a new facet of Connecticut’s economy.

HB-5975 takes an education-focused step toward developing and expanding green industries in Connecticut. As our economy continues to move towards sustainable, green industries, we must have a workforce equipped with the skills to compete and succeed in them.

Over the past several years, concerns about the environment, climate change and effective use of resources have led to an explosion of “green” processes, products and services to meet a fast-growing demand.

Under HB-5975, the Connecticut commissioner of Higher Education, in consultation with the commissioner of Economic and Community Development and the Labor commissioner, will create a study of the academic programs that would prepare students for green industries.

The programs would be offered at public institutions of higher education, including the state’s community-technical colleges, vocational-technical schools, and Connecticut state universities.

The study will examine ways of supporting the development of green industries in Connecticut and obtaining federal funding to establish or implement relevant academic programs.

CBIA is encouraged that lawmakers recognize the potential for economic growth in green industries.