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Connecticut Restaurants Support Lamont's Back-To-Work Incentive

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The Connecticut restaurant industry supports Governor Ned Lamont’s offer to pay a $1,000 bonus to unemployed residents who return to work before the end of the year. They said it might help them rebound to pre-COVID staffing levels.

Scott Dolch, executive director of the Connecticut Restaurant Association, said his members are pleased that COVID-19 restrictions in the state have been lifted and they can return to full service. But they need to hire another 30,000 workers to get back to their pre-COVID staffing level of 160,000 workers.

Dolch said that’s why they feel Lamont’s offer of a $1,000 bonus to the unemployed who return to work might help.

“It’s a step in the right direction from my take. Is it going to work? I think time is going to tell. But I’m appreciative that the Commissioner David Lehman and the governor understand that worker shortage is a real issue,” Dolch said.

Republican lawmakers had criticized Lamont’s offer. They had argued that Lamont should have joined about 20 Republican governors and opted out of the extra $300 a week the unemployed now receive from the federal government. That program ends in September.

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.