Connecticut’s Department of Labor received a $10 million federal grant to bolster the state’s apprenticeship programs.
The Constitution State is one of 15 to receive a State Apprenticeship Expansion, Equity and Innovation grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The grants are meant to expand programming and inclusive recruitment strategies to attract a diverse workforce, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh said.
“Using Registered Apprenticeships to expand career opportunities for all workers, especially those in under-represented populations, is a priority for the department and a critical component of the Biden-Harris administration’s American Jobs Plan,” Walsh said.
Connecticut is one of five states that received $10 million, while the other 10 got between $3.9 and $7.7 million. The federal DOL allocated a total of $130 million in grants for apprenticeship expansion. Additionally, the Urban Institute, The Council of State Governments, Jobs for the Future Inc. and Safal Partners Inc. each received grants between $4 million and $13 million.
The grant comes at a time when Gov. Ned Lamont has made workforce development a top priority, and even established a new unit within the state’s government to oversee workforce strategies and programs.
Employers in Connecticut’s manufacturing sector — which the state government has identified as one of a handful of industries critical to economic development — have cited workforce development initiatives like apprenticeships and incumbent worker training, as well as the Manufacturing Voucher Program — a matching state grant of up to $50,000 for equipment purchases and other investments — as critical to the sector.