HARTFORD — Gov. Ned Lamont has announced the creation of the Connecticut Workforce Development Unit, a state office that will be responsible for developing workforce policy, utilizing data to set a vision for the workforce pipeline, and coordinating the state’s workforce ecosystem around a common strategy and set of goals.

The unit, housed within the Department of Economic and Community Development, will collaborate with the commissioners of DECD and the Department of Labor to directly advise the governor and other state entities on various workforce strategies and initiatives.

It will be committed to crafting nation-leading policies and goals that catalyze educators, businesses, nonprofit and state agencies to develop curricula and programs that are accessible, inclusive and aligned with the needs of employers.

Since entering office, one of Gov. Lamont’s top priorities has been developing a nation-leading, accessible and equitable workforce in Connecticut that is responsive to the needs of the 21st century economy. 

This vision started with the creation of the Governor’s Workforce Council in October, and has most recently featured the Connecticut Back to Work Initiative.

The Workforce Development Unit will be led by Dr. Kelli Vallieres, who will serve as executive director. 

Dr. Vallieres brings more than 20 years of experience as CEO of two manufacturing companies in Connecticut, has a Ph.D. in adult experiential learning, serves on the boards of several workforce-focused organizations across the state and has served as vice chair of the Governor’s Workforce Council since its inception.

“Kelli brings a wealth of institutional knowledge about Connecticut’s workforce, leadership experience in both business and academia, and a passion for working alongside industry and education to ensure our students and jobseekers are learning skills that are aligned with the needs of Connecticut’s employers,” Gov. Lamont said.

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