Building a skilled workforce in Connecticut is an ongoing priority for employers, and lawmakers this year passed many proposals supporting efforts to develop and train talent.

Filling the Gap

Manufacturers in Connecticut have been noticing that all too often, technical high school classes are being taught by substitute teachers, and classroom openings are going unfilled.

SB 383 takes an important step to close those gaps by streamlining the hiring process for technical high school teachers.

As amended, the bill requires the superintendent of state technical high schools to go directly to the Office of Policy and Management when hiring or replacing teachers.

That will eliminate an administrative step and should allow the hiring process to proceed more quickly.

The original bill also included a section establishing a pilot incumbent worker program.

Although this was taken out of the bill, the concept is being pursued by the Manufacturing Innovation Fund advisory board.

Certificate Consistency

HB 5072 will help create consistency in industry certificate programs.

The state’s Office of Higher Education and Board of Regents will together define and monitor certificate programs.

This effort should enable employers to better understand the specific skills graduates can bring to the workplace.

Expanding Online

Allowing Connecticut to enter into reciprocity agreements with other states or regions for online learning programs helps streamline the approval process for new programs and expands access to online learning--programs often used by current workers to improve their skills.

Passage of HB 5070 allows the state to enter into reciprocity agreements with other regions for online learning programs.

SB 24 was also approved by the Senate and the House and now goes to Governor Dannel Malloy for his signature.

This bill allows independent colleges to react more quickly to the training needs of employers by exempting them from the Office of Higher Education approval process for new programs for two years.

Recruiting Young People

HB 5423 is a bipartisan effort to find innovative ways to recruit younger students into manufacturing careers.

It establishes a taskforce to achieve that goal, and requires the Department of Labor to update its apprenticeship website.

Another task force, under HB 5468, will explore ways to recruit manufacturing teachers.

Institutions are facing a shortage of qualified teachers in manufacturing classes and this group is charged with finding a solution.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Jennifer Herz (860.970.4404) | @CBIAjherz