Governor Lamont Says Workforce Development Will Be Front and Center During Session

connecticut state capitol
NBC Connecticut

Gov. Ned Lamont said workforce development will be a priority during the regular session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected the state's businesses and Lamont said said he is putting workforce front and center with plans to use CARES Act funding for certification programs and making sure that people are being trained for jobs that are available.

Many businesses closed temporarily or permanently, leading to large numbers of unemployed, and the governor said he wants to make sure no open job in the state goes to waste.

The pandemic caused historic unemployment in the state.

Kurt Westby, the commissioner of the state Department of Labor, said the state's unemployment level is 8.2 percent.

In March and April, early in the pandemic, 400,000 people were out of work. The most recent number of people collecting benefits was 190,000 people, up from 180,000.

He discussed how important linking people in need of work with training is for good jobs.

Officials highlighted CARES funding that went to training 800 people, most of whom were unemployed.

They trained 300 front-line healthcare workers, including a homeless man who was given housing and a laptop and he is now working in a healthcare facility as a certified nursing assistant.

While CARES funding trained 800 people, officials said thousands received training through a network of programs.

One initiative for the task force will be a Career Connect program.

Officials also announced that the state was awarded a $10 million grant from the United States Department of Labor and Connecticut is one of four states to win the whole grant.

Funding will go toward supporting the manufacturing and internet technology workforce.

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