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Connecticut to spend $62 million in federal COVID-relief money on workforce development

Mark Lennihan

Connecticut will use $62 million of its federal COVID-relief money to support workforce development on job training programs.

The goal is to prepare about 8,000 people from disadvantaged communities for positions in manufacturing, healthcare, IT, infrastructure and green jobs, said Governor Ned Lamont. He acknowledged that state employers say about 75,000 jobs in manufacturing and other industries are going unfilled.

“Not everyone needs two years or four years of college. Sometimes a 16-week or 24-week program is what it takes to launch an amazing career in a job where we really need you to participate,” said Lamont.

The state is spending the money, which comes from the American Rescue Plan, on programs targeted to industry needs, said Kelli-Marie Vallieres, the state's chief workforce officer.

“The allocations were based on industry demand, not only on current demand but the demand into the future, to ensure that people have upward mobility once they get into those industries,” she said.

The money would cover the cost of the training as well as child care, transportation, food and housing for participants who might need the help, Vallieres said.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.