The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities and the Office of Workforce Strategy are partnering with Amazon Web Services to provide cloud technology training for more than 2,000 state residents by 2024. 

Through the partnership, all CSCU community colleges and universities, along with interested high schools, will gain access to courses and the opportunity to be certified to work in a critical technical field. 

“We know that a workforce rich in tech talent is one of the keys to Connecticut’s future economic success,” Gov. Ned Lamont said Oct. 18.

“This initiative is an important step toward ensuring our residents are prepared for high-tech, 21st century jobs, and that our employers have access to the skilled employees necessary to compete and thrive.”

The partnership is part of a series of public-private workforce development collaborations introduced by OWS.

Other programs include a similar partnership with Google to provide Google Certificates free of charge at community colleges and technical high schools across the state, and regional IT training programs.

Labor Shortage

Kelli Vallieres, the state's chief workforce officer, said the collaboration was “a perfect example of our community college and workforce development ecosystem listening to the demands of employers and quickly developing curriculum that will get people back to work."

“This tech education initiative with AWS is a fantastic way to equip unemployed or underemployed individuals with the skills they need to earn a high-quality job, fast,” she said.

The partnership also provides the opportunity to help address the skilled worker shortage.

CBIA’s 2021 Survey of Connecticut Businesses found that 80% employers report difficulty finding and retaining workers, with the lack of required skills or expertise a significant factor.

Forty-three percent of employers said policymakers should focus workforce policy efforts on education and vocational training programs. 

Educators have begun training in the courses they will begin teaching next month. In addition to accessing the courses at the community colleges, students can also engage in self-paced online training.

Classes begin Nov. 2 at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport and then expand to Three Rivers and Manchester community colleges Nov. 29, and Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield in early December.