HARTFORD, CT - Governor Dannel P. Malloy on Friday announced that the Connecticut Department of Labor has been awarded more than $3.3 million in federal funding that will be used to help train and prepare unemployed workers for jobs in high-demand industries.
The grant, in the amount of $3,392,350, is focused on training residents for jobs that need to be filled, such as those in the areas of engineering, information technology and advanced manufacturing.
“This grant from the U.S. Department of Labor is geared toward providing our residents with new on-the-job training opportunities, where individuals draw a paycheck while working and learning new skills,” said Governor Malloy. “The focus will be to partner with employers and create more employment related to STEM industries – science, technology, engineering and math because these are the jobs that need to be filled, and these are the jobs that will pay well, offer excellent career opportunities, and help strengthen our overall economy.”
The grant will also be used to expand or create new employer partnerships to increase the number of registered apprentices in well-paying manufacturing occupations such as quality control, CNC, and tool and die machining. Currently, most apprenticeship programs are found within the construction industry and the goal is to increase opportunities by expanding these on-the-job training programs to manufacturing companies.
“Nationwide and in Connecticut, the long-term unemployed are experiencing the toughest time finding new jobs,” Malloy added. “This grant will focus on helping these individuals, as well as others that are seeking new employment, gain the skills they need to move into jobs that employers are trying to fill.”
Three of the state’s five Workforce Investment Boards – the Eastern Workforce Investment Board, the Northwest Workforce Investment Board and Workforce Alliance – will partner with the Connecticut Labor Department to develop the on-the-job training programs.
Grants provided through the Job-Driven National Emergency Grant program and awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor totaled $154,757,547. A total of 32 states, Puerto Rico and the Cherokee tribal nation were provided the grants.
According to the USDOL, the grants are designed to help states expand work-based learning strategies – which recent studies show increase employment and earnings outcomes. Grant states will also receive additional funding of up to $175,000 to allow activities in one or more of the following areas to better serve dislocated workers taking part in the grant program, and federal job training programs in general. The activities include:
Increasing consumer access to training outcomes and information
Developing more effective electronic employment tools
Expanding employer engagement, and
Enhancing customer and employer satisfaction
Funding for the grants was made available through the Workforce Investment Act Dislocated Worker National Reserve fund.