HARTFORD — Gov. Ned Lamont has announced the rollout of key components to CareerConneCT, the state’s workforce program and a nationally recognized model. The $70 million program is supporting individuals through tuition-free job training, case management, supportive services and employment assistance.
Statewide and regional programs under the initiative will lead to industry-recognized credentials that create pathways to employment in high-quality, in-demand careers at no cost to participants. Administered by the Connecticut Office of Workforce Strategy, CareerConneCT is made possible by the federal American Rescue Plan Act.
“We are building CareerConneCT to become one of the largest workforce development initiatives ever executed in Connecticut,” Gov. Lamont said. “We’ve already received significant commitments from employers that are looking to hire thousands of workers across a broad spectrum of high-quality, good-paying fields.
“This is an opportunity for those who are unemployed or underemployed to receive no-cost training in an in-demand field and get connected to a job opportunity that is waiting to be filled.”
Jobseekers are invited to enroll through an online intake portal at portal.ct.gov/careerconnect, that connects them to reskilling, upskilling or next-skilling opportunities in manufacturing, information technology, health care, infrastructure and clean energy, CDL and other high-demand sectors.
Once registered in the portal, participants will complete a brief skills inventory and then receive a career coach who will help them access training that meets their skills and interests. Participants also can explore career paths, learning opportunities and available jobs.
The portal features a curated list of available training programs that will continue to grow as programs are scheduled and new programs are developed to meet additional employer demands for skilled talent. Trainings programs ranging from five weeks to 10 months have already begun with many more being added in January.
Trainings have been designed based on the hiring needs of employers, with a significant number of employers committing to hire graduates.
A new statewide “YOU” marketing campaign to raise awareness of the program is rolling out, which will collaborate with the statewide “Hearts and Minds” manufacturing marketing campaign. The marketing campaign is designed to recruit populations most underrepresented in the workforce, including BIPOC, people with disabilities, the re-entry population, opportunity youth, veterans, immigrants and women.
The campaign will feature the training and career opportunities available through the program and utilize an array of marketing strategies, including television, social media, and out-of-home advertising.
“Connecticut’s workforce development system is open to serve all residents,” Connecticut Chief Workforce Officer Dr. Kelli Vallieres said, “and we encourage every job seeker to take advantage of this technology and the training it leads to. Signing up is fast, convenient, and the first step in your new career.”
“We listened and built the program to remove systemic barriers,” Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Anthony Barrett said. “For us to fill the skilled labor shortage, and move our state forward, we must engage vulnerable populations who are underrepresented in the labor market, and assure the diverse talent being sourced feels a sense of belonging.”
“The CareerConneCT launch, coupled with the ‘Hearts and Minds’ and ‘YOU’ campaigns, will help drive interest in people looking for life changing careers,” Connecticut Chief Manufacturing Officer Paul Lavoie said. “This is a real game changer for manufacturing careers.”
“The CareerConneCT grant funding will support construction readiness programs to provide residents the opportunity to attain credentials and skills that lead to unionized registered apprenticeship programs,” Yolanda Rivera, director of the Connecticut State Building Trades Training Institute, said. “These skilled workers will strengthen the quality of the workforce along with ensuring the future of the construction sector in Connecticut.”
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