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Connecticut jobs grow

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

The latest monthly employment report has good news about Connecticut jobs.

Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said, “Thanks to innovative initiatives at DECD and DOL, the aggressive pursuit of statewide industry expansion, and attention to economic drivers like transportation and education, we are well on our way to achieving pre-recession jobs recovery. Today’s announcement reinforces just how important Governor Malloy’s leadership has been for the economy and Connecticut’s businesses.”

The monthly report shows:

The unemployment rate in the state dropped three-tenths of a percent to 5.4%, just one tenth of a point above national rate of 5.3%. At this time last year, the unemployment rate was one full point higher, at 6.4%.
Connecticut saw a net increase of 4,100 jobs during the month.
Over the year, the state has grown 30,600 nonfarm jobs – the largest annualized nonfarm job growth pace since July 2000.
The state has now recovered 97% of the private sector jobs lost during the Great Recession. The private sector now needs just an additional 3,400 positions to reach full, pre-recession recovery.

Governor Malloy said, “This is good news – our state should recognize the progress we’re making. Jobs are dramatically up, the unemployment rate is significantly down, and we’re on track to reach private sector job levels that the state hasn’t seen since before the Great Recession. But we cannot – and will not – stop here. We are going to continue fighting for more good paying jobs with good benefits as we engage with companies like never before. This report is another step into the future for Connecticut.”

Grants to possibly create construction jobs in Connecticut

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

A round of grants will go to 22 municipalities that will possibly create construction jobs in Connecticut.

The municipalities have been approved to receive nearly $12 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Small Cities Program awards from the state that will provide important upgrades and improvements to their local communities.

The grants are awarded to the municipalities to facilitate projects that will enhance their communities in a variety of ways, including developing or preserving affordable housing, providing services to the most vulnerable residents in our communities, and creating and retaining jobs.

The grant recipients include:
•Ansonia – $400,000: Ansonia will continue its Housing Rehabilitation program and plans to rehabilitate 10 units of low- and moderate-income housing. Upgrades are expected to include heating systems repairs, window replacement, lead paint removal, septic system repairs and energy efficiency upgrades for low and moderate income families.
•Bethel – $800,000: Reynolds Ridge Senior Housing. The Bethel Housing Authority will undertake renovations at Reynolds Ridge Senior Housing Complex, creating two handicapped accessible units, replacing interior and exterior doors, replacing windows, and improving energy efficiencies in 80 units of housing.
•East Haddam – $800,000: Phase II Oak Grove Senior Housing Complex. East Haddam Housing Authority will make further improvements to the 36-unit Oak Grove Senior Housing Complex, which includes site-work improvements, kitchen upgrades, and energy efficiency upgrades.
•Essex – $635,000: Essex Court Senior Housing Complex. Essex Housing Authority plans to upgrade its existing septic system. The work will also include kitchen upgrades and energy efficient appliances.
•Hampton – $450,000: Hampton Regional Housing Rehabilitation Program is continuing its regional housing rehabilitation program in Hampton, Brooklyn, Chaplin, Scotland, Pomfret, and Eastford, with plans to rehabilitate 12 units of low- and moderate-income housing. Upgrades will include roof replacement, heating systems, window replacement, lead paint and asbestos removal, and electrical and code upgrades.
•Jewett City – $800,000: Ashland Manor Senior Housing Phase IV. The Borough of Jewett City and the Griswold Housing Authority intend to complete renovations at Ashland Manor Senior Housing, a 30-unit complex. Improvements include converting 12 studios to one bedroom units.
•Killingly – $400,000: Killingly plans to continue its Housing Rehabilitation program and rehabilitate 14 units of low- and moderate-income housing. The rehabilitation will include code upgrades and lead based paint removal.
•Lebanon – $400,000: Lebanon is continuing its Housing Rehabilitation program and plans to rehabilitate 12 units of low- and moderate-income housing. Upgrades will include septic system repairs, roof replacement, heating systems, window replacement, lead paint and asbestos removal, electrical, and code upgrades.

Program helps create Connecticut jobs

Friday, July 31st, 2015

The Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) has been awarded a $8,240,940 federal grant over five years that will support Connecticut’s Second Chance Society initiatives, which will helps nonviolent offenders successfully reintegrate into society and create more Connecticut jobs.

The initiative is designed to continue the progress being made in reducing the state’s dropping crime rate, which is at a 48-year low, as well as ensuring nonviolent offenders are successfully reintegrated into society and become productive workers in Connecticut’s economy.

While “Second Chance” encompasses more resources for ex-offenders, elimination of mandatory minimums for simple possession, and a realignment of Connecticut’s corrections strategy, the initiative also includes efforts to reduce and prevent addiction, treating it as disease rather than a crime worthy of lifetime punishment.

The grant will fund community-level agencies in medium and large-sized urban areas with a high rate of alcohol and other drug use that demonstrate a need to improve their substance abuse prevention strategies. Projects will aim to reduce alcohol and drug abuse by adolescents and young adults, and the grant award will be used to specifically focus on the reduction of disparities in substance use risk and consequences. That means communities that are faced with especially high challenges in terms of resources, infrastructure, population, diversity and severity of substance use-related problems will be examined.

“The work that will be conducted with these grant dollars will build on significant reductions in underage drinking and its negative impacts, including motor vehicle crashes and risky behaviors,” DMHAS Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon said. “Connecticut survey data shows that prevention strategies are working to reduce underage drinking and a continued emphasis on prevention will maintain the downward trend in substance abuse by young people.”

Program to create Connecticut manufacturing jobs

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

A new workforce development initiative is creating more Connecticut manufacturing jobs.

The initiative through the Manufacturing Innovation Fund that supports a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction for apprentices in the manufacturing industry.

The Manufacturing Innovation Fund Apprenticeship Program will provide wage subsidies and tuition reimbursements to eligible companies in order to increase the number of apprentices in Connecticut and ensure a talented, skilled workforce for the future.

The Manufacturing Innovation Fund Apprenticeship Program, initially a two-year, $7,800,000 program, incentivizes individuals to participate and employers to become sponsors of registered apprenticeships. To be eligible, Connecticut-based manufacturers must have been registered to conduct business for at least one year. Businesses involved in aerospace, medical devices, composite materials, digital manufacturing, and other technologically-advanced commercial products and services are eligible to participate.

“Connecticut manufacturing requires modern skills and we’re providing modern training. Our focus can’t just be about luring new businesses – it also has to ensure that when businesses come to Connecticut, they have a talent pool to fill their needs. This program will help residents find new jobs, provide employers with a new pool of workers, and align education and training with the needs of manufacturers. The training is all part of a comprehensive strategy to grow jobs, and it will no doubt bolster our already robust manufacturing industry,” said Governor Malloy. “Right now, there are more than 200 apprentices in manufacturing occupations working for 90 employer sponsors, but we have room to grow. We have one of the most educated, most skilled workforces in the nation, and we’re working to develop it even further.”

Grants awarded through the program can be used for wage subsidy, tuition reimbursement and to offset the costs of gaining appropriate credentials for apprentices. The grants can range up to $13,000 for two years of wages, up to $3,750 of tuition reimbursement, and up to $2,000 for credential costs. Assistance will leverage company funds and cannot exceed $18,750 for the two year period per apprentice.

“In addition to significant growth in the manufacturing sector this past year, retirements from these jobs make it even more critical that Connecticut have a trained workforce ready to meet the needs of its employers,” Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL) Commissioner Sharon M. Palmer said. “Top industries in this sector – including aerospace, transportation equipment, computer and electrical products, and fabricated metals – provide good jobs and good wages, and apprenticeship programs offer excellent opportunities for long-term careers that will keep our families financially healthy and our state economically strong.”

Connecticut jobs added

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

Over 6,600 Connecticut jobs have been added in June, according to recent labor statistics.

In addition, the Connecticut Department of Labor has been awarded more than $3.8 million in federal funding that will be used to develop innovative job-training programs focused on building talent pipelines for companies through regional and industry-specific collaborations in the state.

The $3,889,995 grant is focused on building “sector strategies” that puts Connecticut’s business community in the forefront of regional planning and creating job training programs to help companies grow. Job training strategies that respond to the needs of businesses will connect workers affected by job loss – including jobseekers that have exhausted unemployment insurance benefits – to opportunities for work-based learning and new approaches to skill development.

“This funding will help us better connect our workforce to employers and opportunity,” Lt. Governor Wyman said. “Stronger partnerships between government and the private sector have helped Connecticut add 80,000 jobs over the past four and a half years – a meaningful increase for businesses and residents. I applaud the Governor, our Congressional delegation, and the Department of Labor for their work to secure these funds and their ongoing commitment to improving our business climate and strengthening our workforce.”

“Building effective partnerships with employers and educational organizations will allow us to produce more skilled and competent workers to meet the needs of our regions – including the need for CNC programmers and operators in north central Connecticut, machinists and welders in eastern Connecticut, and healthcare workers in a variety of fields in the southwestern portion of the state,” CTDOL Commissioner Sharon Palmer said. “We appreciate this funding that will help us invest in training for jobs that need to be filled, and in jobs that will pay well.”

Agreement would create Connecticut transportation jobs

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

A huge historic agreement and investment will lead to many Connecticut transportation jobs.

The budget agreement reached with the House and Senate last night will fund the historic transportation agenda put forth by Governor Malloy earlier this year.

This agreement will lead to the largest investment in transportation in Connecticut history.

This budget, which responsibly keeps growth under 4%, will allow Connecticut to take important steps to transform our transportation system to grow jobs, boost the economy, and improve quality of life. The budget agreement includes billions for transportation over the next decade, by taking a half a cent off the sales tax – which will remain flat at 6.35% – and dedicating it to modernizing our rail, rebuilding our roads, and transforming the way we travel. This funding will mean that transportation will be fully funded for nearly a decade, allowing the state to plan and design projects in Governor Malloy’s long-term vision, as well as funding to complete many of them.

Currently, the Connecticut economy unnecessarily loses billions of dollars per year in lost productivity because of its inability to properly plan for and invest in upgrades to infrastructure. With this agreement, Connecticut will spend $613 million for highways, $281 million for bridges, $101 million for bicycle and pedestrian trails, and $43 million – or a 25% expansion – of bus service. The budget also includes funding for 161 new positions at the Connecticut Department of Transportation to help execute the ramp-up.

“Governor Malloy’s transportation plan will modernize Connecticut, attract new residents and a new workforce, and ensure our companies can compete in a global marketplace. It is key to building and sustaining a thriving economy,” said Lt. Governor Wyman. “I commend the Governor, legislative leadership, and the General Assembly for prioritizing transportation investment and positioning Connecticut for a strong future.”

“The transportation plan is closely connected to our commitment to job creation and economic development,” Senate President Martin M. Looney said. “It is essential that we find a reliable revenue stream to fund this initiative over a period of years.”

Training programs to boost Connecticut labor jobs

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

A slew of new training programs have been created to add to the Connecticut labor jobs.

Members of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation said that the Connecticut Department of Labor has been awarded more than $3.8 million in federal funding that will be used to develop innovative job-training programs focused on building talent pipelines for companies through regional and industry-specific collaborations in the state.

The $3,889,995 grant is focused on building “sector strategies” that puts Connecticut’s business community in the forefront of regional planning and creating job training programs to help companies grow.

Job training strategies that respond to the needs of businesses will connect workers affected by job loss – including jobseekers that have exhausted unemployment insurance benefits – to opportunities for work-based learning and new approaches to skill development.

“We’re making significant progress – we just added more than 6,600 private sector jobs this month. With unemployment at the lowest point in years and with nearly 25,000 jobs created over the last year, we are making strides. Yet, in order to continue moving forward, we need to continue to support workers with new training requisite for industries that need employees, so that we can remain competitive in today’s constantly changing business environment,” Governor Malloy said. “As we anticipate the needs of emerging industries that offer viable employment opportunities, the funds will provide employment services to unemployed workers and connect them to new jobs. Ultimately, we’re working every day to ensure that residents have the skills necessary to attain a job for the business needs of today – and keep it.”

“This funding will help us better connect our workforce to employers and opportunity,” Lt. Governor Wyman said. “Stronger partnerships between government and the private sector have helped Connecticut add 80,000 jobs over the past four and a half years – a meaningful increase for businesses and residents. I applaud the Governor, our Congressional delegation, and the Department of Labor for their work to secure these funds and their ongoing commitment to improving our business climate and strengthening our workforce.”

“Building effective partnerships with employers and educational organizations will allow us to produce more skilled and competent workers to meet the needs of our regions – including the need for CNC programmers and operators in north central Connecticut, machinists and welders in eastern Connecticut, and healthcare workers in a variety of fields in the southwestern portion of the state,” CTDOL Commissioner Sharon Palmer said. “We appreciate this funding that will help us invest in training for jobs that need to be filled, and in jobs that will pay well.”

Incentive program to boost sales jobs in Connecticut

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

A new incentive program that rewards those who purchase or lease electric vehicles will boost sales jobs in Connecticut.

Connecticut is making it “cheaper” to purchase or lease an electric vehicle as a result of the Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate Program (CHEAPR).

A cash rebate of up to $3,000 is now available for Connecticut residents, businesses, and municipalities who purchase or lease an eligible electric vehicle (EV). EVs covered by CHEAPR include battery electric, fuel cell, and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Rebates offered through the CHEAPR program are on a sliding scale, with the maximum $3,000 amount for those who purchase or lease an EV with the greatest battery capacity. Rebates of $1,500 and $750 will be provided for EVs that travel shorter distances on battery power.

“Electric vehicle incentive programs are extremely effective. Our dealerships have been selling electric vehicles for many years. We know this new rebate will help get more consumers to decide to make this investment in a new car and the environment,” Jim Fleming, President of the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association, said. “We want to thank Governor Malloy and Commissioner Klee for having the foresight to secure the funding for this program and continuing to strengthen the electric vehicle market.”

“CHEAPR rebates will help us address carbon emissions in the transportation sector, which is critical to achieving Connecticut’s climate change goals,” Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert Klee said. “The cars and trucks we all drive are the largest single source of carbon emissions in our state, accounting for about 40 percent of the greenhouse gases produced here. Gasoline powered cars and trucks are also the single, biggest in-state source of pollutants that produce ozone. This creates the hazy smog that causes respiratory ailments for thousands of our residents each year during the summer months.”

The CHEAPR initiative is the latest step in Connecticut’s effort to encourage the use of alternative vehicles. Through EVConnecticut, DEEP has already:

Partnered with the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association on a contest that offered awards to the dealerships that sold or leased the highest number of EVs.

Provided about $400,000 in grants to fund the installation of 160 EV chargers, some of which are still being installed. Under terms of the grants, the charging stations must be available to the public free of charge.

Agenda to create many new transportation jobs in Connecticut

Monday, June 1st, 2015

A new historic agreement is leading to billions in transportation investment and many new transportation jobs in Connecticut.

The budget agreement reached with the House and Senate last night will fund the historic transportation agenda put forth by Governor Malloy earlier this year.

This budget, which responsibly keeps growth under 4%, will allow Connecticut to take important steps to transform our transportation system to grow jobs, boost the economy, and improve quality of life.

The budget specifically includes a $2.8 billion increase for infrastructure over the next five years. In total over the next five years, approximately $10 billion will be spent on transportation between this budget, planned capital spending, and federal funds.

The budget agreement includes billions for transportation over the next decade, by taking a half a cent off the sales tax – which will remain flat at 6.35% – and dedicating it to modernizing our rail, rebuilding our roads, and transforming the way we travel.

This funding will mean that transportation will be fully funded for nearly a decade, allowing the state to plan and design projects in Governor Malloy’s long-term vision, as well as funding to complete many of them.

“Working with House and Senate leaders, we were able to come to this historic agreement where we fund transportation for nearly a decade and provide car tax and property tax relief,” Governor Malloy said. “I want to thank our partners in the General Assembly for their hard work and commitment on these important issues.”

The Governor continued, “With the transportation component to the agreement, this will truly be a historic budget. We’re able to make the biggest investment in transportation ever – and we’re able to achieve that without burdening the middle class. When I took office, we had few shovel-ready projects, and our failure to invest over the decades has artificially held back our economy. However, the smart decisions we make in this agreement now will deliver a brighter future for Connecticut in the long-run. We shouldn’t stand for 100-year-old bridges and 42 hours per year in traffic on average for every man, woman, and child. Connecticut deserves better – and that’s just what this budget delivers. This is truly historic.”

Full day kindergarten to affect those with education jobs in Connecticut

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

A new law coming in the future will affect those with education jobs in Connecticut.

The mayor has been highlighting the importance and benefits of full-day kindergarten for Connecticut’s five-year-old learners, approximately 2,000 of whom do not have access to full day instruction – or roughly 5.5 percent.

Full-day kindergarten serves as an important bridge between pre-kindergarten programs and more structured learning in Grade 1 classrooms. Often, students learn through play in kindergarten. In addition to academic learning, teachers focus on developing students’ social and emotional skills.

“Investments into early learning yield invaluable returns for students, families and communities,” Education Commissioner Wentzell said. “Full-day kindergarten is essential to addressing the preparation gap and provides teachers more time to identify and address students’ potential learning challenges. In many ways, full-day kindergarten is not something we can afford to delay.”

“By depriving thousands of children of full-day kindergarten, we are going backwards. It’s time we act now to make full-day kindergarten universal in Connecticut so that we can make students’ lives brighter tomorrow,” Governor Malloy said. “This is a commonsense issue, and one that we should take action on now. It will yield innumerable benefits in the long-run. It’s simply counterintuitive for some children to attend full-day pre-K, yet have others be denied full-day kindergarten. Extended learning time works – and I’m a believer in doing what works. Within two years, every kindergartener should have access to a full-day of learning.”

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