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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $23.9 Million to Support Multi-Sector Workforce Training Program in Connecticut Through American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge

Competition Provides Once-In-A-Generation Funding to Locally Driven, Diverse Partnerships to Create and Develop Workforce Training Programs that Support Local Economies

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $23.9 million American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grant to the Office of Workforce Strategy, Hartford, Connecticut, to create the Strengthening Sectoral Partnerships Initiative, a manufacturing, healthcare, information technology, and bio-medical workforce training program.

This program will develop sectoral partnerships with workforce programs across the state to train and place thousands of workers – particularly from historically-underserved communities – in high-demand jobs in four priority sector areas.

“President Biden's American Rescue Plan funding through the Good Jobs Challenge will make significant, tangible investments in critical sectors within local communities,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “These employer-led, state-wide training programs create economic resilience for the state of Connecticut and a more competitive workforce, while enriching individuals' futures through quality jobs.”

“The Good Jobs Challenge is bringing together diverse partners and local leaders to advance workforce training programs across the country,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “Led by the Office of Workforce Strategy, this program will pursue a robust, statewide approach, bringing together employers and training programs, to prepare workers to secure good-paying jobs in Connecticut.

“This is award is great news for Connecticut,” said Governor Ned Lamont. “This new federal funding will support my Administration’s work to provide CT businesses access to the talent they need to grow in CT and to provide residents from historically underserved populations and communities access to the training and support they need to find stable, good-paying jobs in manufacturing, IT, and healthcare. I thank the Biden Administration and Congress for passing the American Rescue Plan Act which continues to support states like Connecticut with resources to accelerate equitable economic growth.”

“With this significant federal grant, Connecticut’s Office of Workforce Strategy will be able to train thousands of people for high-demand jobs within the manufacturing, healthcare, information technology, and biomedical industries – bolstering our economy while investing in the next generation of workers,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal. “I am thrilled that this investment is being made in Connecticut’s workforce, and I will continue fighting with my colleagues in Congress to bring back more federal dollars for these vital workforce training programs.”

“This $23.9 million grant is a huge win for our Connecticut workers and businesses. This new initiative, now possible thanks to American Rescue Plan funding, will train workers on the skills they need before placing them in a good-paying job in one of Connecticut’s growing, high-demand industries. Workforce development is always a smart investment, and I’ll continue pushing for more federal support for programs in our state,” said Senator Chris Murphy.

“Connecticut is perfectly positioned to leverage these funds thanks to the hard work of Kelli-Marie Vallieres and the OWS. This is exactly the type of focused investment we need to keep growing our economy and to build the high-skilled workforce we need,” said Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02). “These Rescue Plan funds are going to help accelerate an already highly energized manufacturing and technology sector in CT-02 and throughout our state. With so much economic opportunity on the horizon – from clean energy production, to increased shipbuilding, to high demand for health care professionals – an extra boost to our already-successful workforce skills training programs will really help set our entire region up for success.”

“I am glad to see funding my colleagues and I helped secure in the American Rescue Plan go to needed workforce training programs in Connecticut from the Good Jobs Challenge,” said Chair DeLauro. “These investments will support our economic recovery by helping put Americans in underserved communities back to work in in-demand, high-paying jobs that help them deal with rising costs and support their families. I applaud the Commerce Department for establishing the Good Jobs Challenge to support our ongoing economic recovery and to help working Americans get ahead. Thank you to Governor Lamont, who helped launch these initiatives to support Connecticut’s long-term economic development. They will support job training programs that have helped Nutmeggers get the necessary skills to transition into new, high-paying jobs that help them get ahead.”

“The Good Jobs Challenge is a welcomed investment in the expansion and diversification of Connecticut’s workforce,” said Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04). “This federal funding will create training opportunities and generate good-paying jobs for underserved communities, while bolstering our global competitiveness through domestic production. I am excited to work with the Office of Workforce Strategy as these partnerships evolve and begin to shape Connecticut’s next generation of leaders.”

This grant is funded through the American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge. The program awarded grants to 32 worker-centered, industry-led workforce training partnerships across the country. The $500 million program is expanding opportunities for more Americans to access and secure good-paying jobs by investing in innovative approaches to advance worker-centered, industry-led workforce training partnerships.

The 32 awardee projects were selected from a competitive pool of 509 applicants. By partnering with stakeholders such as labor unions, community colleges and industry, these projects will solve for local talent needs, increase the supply of trained workers and help workers secure jobs in 15 key industries that are essential to U.S. supply chains, global competitiveness, and regional development. Through a holistic, integrated partnership approach, these projects will provide tangible opportunities and security for American workers, focusing on serving and supporting a broad range of underserved communities and connecting workers with the training, skills, and support services needed to successfully secure a good job. For more information on the grantees, please visit our fact sheet. (PDF)

The Good Jobs Challenge is part of a suite of American Rescue Plan programs developed by EDA to equitably distribute its $3 billion allocation to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to 4 a better America by accelerating economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be more resilient to future economic shocks.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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