State Taps COVID-19 Funds for Workforce Programs


The state is setting aside $15 million of federal coronavirus relief money to train more than 1,000 displaced workers and connect them with high-growth, in-demand jobs.

The money will go toward 19 programs that offer participants access to support services, including childcare and transportation, general training subsidy, and job placement services to connect participants with full-time employment.

The Governor’s Workforce Council, with help from the new Office of Workforce Strategy in the state Department of Economic and Community Development, will oversee the effort.

The council is focusing on training programs that align to current in-demand jobs with strong career pathways across several industries, including healthcare, information technology, and manufacturing.

The funds will provide training and job opportunities for roughly 1,100 workers, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

“This pandemic has drastically impacted the lives and livelihood of so many people in our state, and these workforce development programs are being expanded so that we can provide displaced workers with the skills needed to match them with in-demand jobs,” Lamont said.

Kelli-Marie Vallieres, executive director of the workforce office, said the new effort “is a great example of how Connecticut can leverage its strong workforce partners, such as our regional workforce development boards, community colleges, and local training providers, among others, to create industry-aligned programs aimed at getting Connecticut residents back to work.”

Funding Targets

Here’s how the funds will be dispersed:

  • Workforce Alliance, serving south central Connecticut, is receiving $1.4 million to partner with DCI and Gateway Community College to train 156 participants for jobs across IT, warehousing, and healthcare such as help desk technicians, cybersecurity specialists, and business analysts; certified power forklift operators; and certified nursing assistants with special training to work in long-term care facilities and with the elderly.
  • Capital Workforce Partners, serving north central Connecticut, is receiving $3.8 million to partner with Yale New Haven Health, Aetna/ CVS, Year Up, DCI, and local community colleges to train 418 participants for jobs across healthcare, IT, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, financial services, and construction. Jobs include CNAs, pharmacy technicians, licensed trades workers, insurance sales agents, accounting and auditing clerks, truck drivers, web developers, user support specialists, and mechatronic and industrial automation technicians.
  • The Eastern Workforce Investment Board is receiving $686,024 to partner with workforce stakeholders such as employers and community colleges to offer skills training to about 85 participants in healthcare, manufacturing, and transportation in jobs such as pharmacy technicians, CNAs, commercial drivers, and a variety of skills-based manufacturing trades.
  • The WorkPlace, serving southwestern Connecticut, is receiving $250,115 to partner with local employers and community colleges to train 50 people as community health workers.
  • The Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board is receiving $289,191 to partner with a local utility services company to train 19 participants for construction jobs including laborers, drivers, operators, plumbers, gas fitters, and foremen and $1,689,624 to provide supportive services to all WDB program participants across the state.

Additional Programs

In addition, these strategic state partners received funding for additional training programs:

  • The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology is receiving $915,000 to train 60 residents for advanced manufacturing jobs in quality, inspection, and Industry 4.0 technologies
  • Connecticut State Colleges and Universities is receiving $762,663 for community colleges programs to prepare 100 students for jobs such as medical assistants, emergency medical technicians, phlebotomy technicians, and central sterile processing technicians
  • The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood is receiving $5.3 million to partner with All Our Kin to train and license 165 family childcare programs and provide the overall childcare supply for individuals in workforce training programs
  • An additional $1.4 million has been allocated to the five Regional Workforce Development Boards to provide supportive services to over 600 workforce training participants

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