Lamont Pushes to Develop Workforce

The Governor's Workforce Council will take a lead role in advising the governor on the state’s workforce development strategy and support the state’s economic growth.

On Tuesday, Gov. Ned Lamont announced that he has signed an executive order creating the Governor’s Workforce Council, a body that will be responsible for partnering with the business community and training high-quality workforce development system in the state.

The governor made the announcement on the campus of Naugatuck Valley Community College where the council looks to begin making recommendations for what classes area colleges and trade schools should provide. The effort is to make sure that local private and public companies tap into the extraordinary talent within the state.

The council will take a lead role in advising the governor on the state’s workforce development strategy and support the state’s economic growth.

The Governor’s Workforce Council will also coordinate among the important stakeholders in the workforce system, including businesses, state agencies, quasi-public and independent entities, boards, councils, and commissions, public and private education and training institutions, workforce development boards, nonprofit institutions, labor unions, and the state’s chief manufacturing officer.

The executive order will require the council to review the and submit a report to the governor and the legislature by January 1, 2021, to make strategic recommendations to improve the state’s workforce system in a variety of areas, including better coordination reducing barriers to training, strengthening the bridge from high school into post-secondary training and education.

According to the Connecticut Office of Higher Education, more than 70 percent of workers will need some form of education and training beyond high school by 2025. Those demands would also require that about 300,000 additional Connecticut residents have post-secondary training.

First semester college students said they’re glad to hear about the governor’s workforce because it allows them to take the right classes to be ready for a career in just two semesters.

Malachy Croke is an 18-year-old college student who in one year could be fulfilling his career dreams in the manufacturing industry.

“I definitely enjoyed you know creating a product,” said Croke. “I feel like there’s a lot of satisfaction in building that you can hold.”

Croke first learned about the advanced manufacturing program while on a college tour in high school. He said that immediately following that tour, he knew Naugatuck Valley Community College would best prepare him for his career and avoid college debt.

“It’s a great place to learn the theories, math, introductions and all the basics,” said Croke. “The university does a great job of introducing you to the fundamentals and motivating you throughout the program.”

The council is comprised of 24 members with some local private and public businesses like Electric Boat, Stanley Black + Decker and Bigelow Tea.

The council will meet quarterly, and all of its meetings will be open to the public. Lamont plans to attend each meeting. Its first meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, November 21, at a time and location to be determined.

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