State workforce development officials recently announced the formation of a multi-industry partnership they say will help train Connecticut’s young people for good-paying jobs in insurance, information technology, advanced manufacturing and other fields.
The Capital Area Tech Partnership is expected to bring together over 50 companies that will play a role in developing training programs to teach state residents in-demand skills needed to secure entry-level technology-related positions. The coalition will focus their efforts on sectors where worker shortages are particularly acute, including information technology support, cloud services, data management, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.
Alex Johnson, president and CEO of Capital Workforce Partners, said the program will put a particular emphasis on engaging “marginalized, underserved” populations that have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
State officials did not list the companies expected to join the group, but New Britain-based tools and hardware manufacturer Stanley Black & Decker confirmed it will be involved.
“Our efforts to support the Capital Area Tech Partnership is another important step in helping close the skills gap and build digital skills training programs that will credential students for career opportunities in Connecticut,” said Martin Guay, the firm’s vice president of business development.
The partnership is expected to be employer-driven, and no state funding has been provided to date.
During an appearance at Capital Community College in Hartford on Wednesday, Gov. Ned Lamont praised the new initiative and predicted it would unleash Connecticut’s economic potential by matching young people with the kinds of jobs the region creates and fosters.
“This is a state whose jobs engine has been on stall for decades,” Lamont said. “But we’re revving up our engines right now. We’re getting people back to work. This is the most important thing we can be doing and we’re making sure we do it in a way that leaves nobody behind.”
The announcement of the Capital Area Tech Partnership came the same day Lamont signed into law a bill aimed at expanding job training and education opportunities for high school and post-secondary students.
The legislation makes rigorous high school-level courses such as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes available to more students, especially in communities that have not had access to those programs in the past. It also requires that school districts adopt policies to improve completion rates of the Free Application For Federal Student Aid, the main vehicle for need-based post-secondary financial assistance.