About 8,000 Workers to be Trained Using Federal COVID Funds

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The state of Connecticut is dedicating about $62 million of its federal COVID-19 relief funds to train and ultimately place 8,000 workers in health care, information technology, manufacturing and other industries.

The Office of Workforce Strategy announced Tuesday that grants to local workforce development and job training organizations will be available through the Career ConneCT initiative and the first round of applications is being accepted online. There's a focus on helping people who are unemployed, part of historically marginalized groups and students preparing for high-demand careers.

Grants will be issued twice a year over the next four years. Applications for this first round will run through Feb. 20. The next round of applications will be accepted in August.

Of the $62 million in American Rescue Plan money, about $14 million is devoted to manufacturing; $14 million to information technology; $14 million to health care; $10 million to infrastructure and green jobs; and $9 million to other industries. Additional federal funding is also anticipated.

“The allocations were based on industry demand, not only in current demand, but the demand into the future to ensure that people have upward mobility once you get into those industries,” said Kelli-Marie Vallieres, executive director of the Office of Workforce Strategy. She said the state hopes to meet the hiring demands of Connecticut employers.

Vallieres said her office plans to soon launch a second online portal that will allow job-seekers and students to apply for all available training programs.

Other federal COVID-relief funds have already been used for various job training efforts during the pandemic in Connecticut. The Yale-New Haven Hospital system, for example, partnered with the state to launch an in-house pharmacy technician training program that has so far graduated 69 people.

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