New Generation of Manufacturing Talent Is Committees’ Aim
Getting more young people interested in—and then into—careers in manufacturing is the ultimate goal of two new legislative proposals.
Responding to concerns raised at a meeting of the legislature’s Manufacturing Caucus, both the Commerce and Education committees have proposed bills addressing basic challenges involving manufacturing—such as attracting more school-age kids and giving them quality instruction.
The Commerce Committee held a public hearing on HB 5423, aimed at finding ways to get more middle and high school students interested in manufacturing.
The proposal would establish a committee of key stakeholders to address the issue, an important first step in the right direction to engage younger students in manufacturing.
The Education Committee is taking up the related issue of recruiting manufacturing instructors.
That committee’s HB 5468 establishes a taskforce to discuss and provide recommendations on how to find and recruit qualified teachers for manufacturing classes.
Beefing up both the pipeline of students and teachers will help support the needs of Connecticut’s manufacturers who are seeing the talent pipeline drying up.
Manufacturers have made it clear that workforce development is a top issue for their futures in Connecticut—critical to maintaining their productivity and increasing their ability to innovate.
And as the single largest contributor to Connecticut’s gross state product, manufacturing is vital to our state’s economy.
But a recent CBIA survey showed that while most manufacturers said they planned to expand their workforces over the next several years, the greatest barrier they face is a lack of talent.
Manufacturers have made it clear that workforce development is a top issue for their futures in Connecticut.
CBIA has suggested some changes to make the proposal even stronger including focusing on hands-on engagement and removing barriers to student internships.
The Education Committee is hearing another bill on Monday, March 7, that will establish a pilot program for incumbent workers at a technical high school.
This concept is an efficient way to support the talent pipeline and career ladder for our workforce.
Technical high schools often go unused at night and an evening program aimed at incumbent workers is a great use of the facility and equipment that would otherwise go unused.
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