Several workforce development bills approved by the General Assembly this legislative session await the governor's signature.
CBIA and its members support many of these measures.
SB 963, among other things, requires the Board of Regents for Higher Education to develop a plan to offer online mechatronics courses at Central Connecticut State University and the community colleges.
The board has until January 1, 2018 to submit the plan and any recommendations for related legislation to the Commerce and Higher Education committees.
Mechatronics combines various engineering fields, including mechanical, electronics, controls, and computers.
Mechatronics professionals design and repair robotics and computer-aided manufacturing equipment, among other things, and these courses are necessary to obtain certification to teach certain manufacturing-related courses.
SB 963 also calls for a taskforce to develop a job-training program in manufacturing for inmates.
A related bill, HB 6219, calls for a study and recommendations for providing employment opportunities for recently incarcerated people.
Lawmakers approved another workforce measure, HB 7271, which creates a technical high school system separate from the state Department of Education, and reduces the experience required for manufacturers to be eligible to become technical high school teachers.
HB 7271 also includes provisions to expand the pool of manufacturing teachers at high schools and community colleges, with the stated goal of recruiting teachers with real-world experience.
HB 5590, meanwhile, creates a taskforce studying the effectiveness of workforce development programs in the state.