Connecticut Department of Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby plans to retire by the end of June, according to the governor’s office.
Gov. Ned Lamont intends to nominate Danté Bartolomeo as his successor. Bartolomeo serves as the agency’s deputy commissioner, a position she has had since January 2019.
Previously, she was elected to serve two terms as state senator for the 13th senatorial district of Cheshire, Meriden, Middlefield, Middletown, and Rockfall, according to the governor’s office.
Since March 2020, the state Department of Labor experienced a surge in applications for unemployment assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the business closures and layoffs that resulted from it.
Lamont said nearly 600,000 residents sought assistance from the Labor Department.
“This past year has tested us immeasurably and Connecticut Department of Labor staff rose to each challenge – for that, they have my deepest respect and gratitude,” Westby said in a statement.
Lamont said Deputy Commissioner Bartolomeo will begin serving as interim commissioner immediately upon the retirement of Commissioner Westby and her nomination will be forwarded to the General Assembly.