The Connecticut Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship Training will use a $10 million federal grant to bring 1,250 new workers into the healthcare sector.
The funds are part of $130 million the federal Department of Labor is distributing to 19 states with apprenticeship programs that demonstrate a commitment to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
Connecticut was one of only five states to receive the full $10 million award.
“Connecticut’s Registered Apprenticeship Program is a high-quality, nationally recognized program that is critical to workforce development—and has been for decades,” interim Labor Commissioner Dante Bartolomeo said.
The 1,250 new healthcare workers will receive training that will allow them to enter the workforce over the next four years.
“These resources will benefit the largest employment sector in Connecticut,” Bartolomeo said. “More importantly, it will help expand diversity, inclusion, and meaningful career opportunities.”
CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said the award demonstrates that the state is headed in the right direction.
“It’s great to see Connecticut continue to punch above its weight class, this time being one of only five states to receive the full U.S. DOL award for much-needed training to increase the pipeline of healthcare workers with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion,” he said.
“The healthcare industry continues to grow in Connecticut, offering not only new job opportunities but also advancement opportunities for those already in the industry—both critical to personal income growth.”
The federal funds will also help states develop partnerships with new industries and non-traditional occupations, including industry sectors hit hardest by the pandemic.
Additionally, the money will be used to align registered apprenticeships with other work-based learning opportunities within state education and workforce systems, U.S. DOL said in a release.
Connecticut’s registered apprenticeship program combines classroom learning with on-the-job training to produce talented workers who have theoretical knowledge and practical experience in their field.
There are currently 6,700 apprentices registered with nearly 1,700 companies across 50 occupations in Connecticut.
The labor department’s healthcare apprenticeship program has almost 1,000 registered apprentices in the nursing and surgical technology fields working with Yale New Haven, Lawrence and Memorial, Milford, Bridgeport, and Greenwich hospitals.
The funds will allow for the 1,250 new healthcare apprentices to train as emergency department technicians, clinical technicians, and patient care associates.
“Connecticut continues to put the pieces in place to ensure a robust rebound from the COVID pandemic so that we can rebuild our economy stronger and better,” DiPentima said.