Senate Republicans released a workforce development platform this week focusing on expanding the education-to-workforce pipeline, licensing reform, and strengthening flagship industries.
Citing Connecticut’s poor job and income growth and shrinking labor force, the proposal emphasizes public-private partnerships with the business community and highlighting opportunities within various sectors of the economy to students.
Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) and senators Paul Cicarella (R-North Haven) and John Kissel (R-Enfield) emphasized the need to strengthen work-based educational opportunities including internships.
- Bringing back job fairs at the high school level
- Allowing trade schools to participate in the Roberta Willis Scholarship Fund
- Expanding the tax credit to businesses that hire registered apprentices who complete an apprenticeship program, expanding program to seven more trades
Cicarella also addressed the need for financial literacy, focusing on models currently in existence for high school micro-internships such as those offered by the Wallingford public school system and Platt Technical High School.
The GOP proposal also requires the State Department of Education, Department of Public Health, and Department of Labor to work with the Connecticut Hospital Association to develop a curriculum for a high school healthcare academy.
Open to any high school students would complete necessary in-person training at local hospitals and obtain certification upon completion of the program, graduation, and local hospital residencies.
Aligning with CBIA’s workforce development priorities, the proposal includes a taskforce to study the state’s licensure system focusing on revising and removing barriers to entry into high-paying, in-demand jobs.
This proposal also focusing on veteran workforce development and ensuring that military training and experience is eligible towards licensure requirements, including hours of on-the-job training and sitting for examinations.
The platform also focuses on the state’s defense sector with the "Buy CT to Build CT” program which includes incentives such as sales tax exemptions and tax credits for manufacturers that that work with in-state suppliers.
Senate Republicans want the state's insurance commissioner to promote the industry to examine potential growth in areas like insurtech, captive insurance, cybersecurity, and data protection.