Education and the ability for workers to gain access to fulfilling, well-paying careers are important. But the end result of worthwhile education isn’t necessarily a college degree, and a college degree isn’t the only pathway to a high-paying fulfilling career. Another option is vocational training and apprenticeships, where in-classroom education and on-site job training meet in the middle. Workforce development, meaning the idea of training workers to fill jobs in industries that are in high demand, has become an burgeoning priority for many state and local governments. There are many industries where skilled workers are retiring with no one to fill their place. This makes workforce development even more critical.
Many of these industries are highly skilled and shifting toward a variety of jobs that have never existed before. Connecticut, a state where Governor Ned Lamont has made workforce development a state priority, understands this. This is why it’s so fantastic to hear that the state has received a $10 million federal grant to bolster its apprenticeship program.
Importance of Workforce Development
Connecticut’s Department of Labor has an Office of Apprenticeship Training. The website for the office has informational links for potential employers, apprentices and general information for the public. The list of potential trades to apprentice with is vast and there are several categories, including:
- Automotive trades
- Building and construction trades
- Plumbing heating and cooling trades
- Culinary arts
Here’s a full list of the trades offered. Some trades require a minimum of 2,000 hours, while others go all the way up to 12,000. The state provides wage and training subsidies for select companies who hire unemployed job seekers. Additionally, there are tax credits available to certain industries.
How This Grant Will Help
According to U.S Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, the goal of this grant award is to to attract a more diverse, highly-skilled workforce. This grant is part of a larger award from the USDOL in which 15 states received similar grants.
This grant will help the state further utilize the power of apprenticeship to help more workers in the state find meaningful employment and gain skills. It comes at a good time, as so many businesses are trying to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Workforce development could mean that workers who lost their jobs before or during the pandemic could train for new careers in growing, high-powered industries like manufacturing.
We’re glad to hear that Connecticut and other states are getting help in ensuring they have a well-trained workforce. In total, the US. Department of Labor awarded $130 million in grants for apprenticeship expansion. Workforce development remains a priority, especially with how quickly our job market is changing and growing. That’s why we’re so happy to have a workforce grant category over at GrantWatch. Feel free to look through this category on your grant-seeking mission, and let us know if you have any questions.
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