Contact: Lawrence Cook
March 30, 2012
A significant state investment in manufacturing technology programs at four Connecticut community-technical colleges is being hailed by state Senator Beth Bye as yet another business-friendly and jobs-creating action by the state legislature and Governor Malloy.
Today, the State Bond Commission approved $10 million to equip, construct and design new or existing precision manufacturing programs at Asnuntuck, Housatonic, Quinnebaug Valley and Naugatuck Valley community colleges. The investment is expected to create or retain 95 construction jobs while training much-needed machinists for manufacturing technology jobs.
“This is exactly the kind of workforce development investment we need to be making in Connecticut, an investment that not only pays off in the short-term with construction jobs but in the long-term with full-time employment and greater sales and productivity for local manufacturers,” said Sen. Bye (D-West Hartford), who is Senate Chair of the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee. “I cannot underestimate the importance of such forward-looking state investments. We’re growing jobs and helping the local economy at the same time.”
Moments after the Bond Commission approved the funding, Governor Dannel P. Malloy spoke about the importance of investing in community college manufacturing programs.
“We have failed to properly train a replacement workforce in Connecticut, which has one of the most rapidly aging populations in America. We’ve got to step it up, and step it up quick,” the governor said. “We need to produce people who are prepared to run a $3 million piece of equipment cutting a $300,000 piece of metal, and this takes investment on both the state and local level. The state is clearly demonstrating our commitment to strengthening our workforce and our economy. ”
The investment comes just a day after the state Labor Department reported that Connecticut’s unemployment rate has dropped to 7.8 percent—the lowest in three years—and that 4,900 new jobs were added in February. The private sector in Connecticut has recouped 44 percent of the jobs it lost during the global recession, according to the report.
“I agree with those economists who believe that Connecticut has turned an important corner with respect to employment and economic growth, and I intend to keep fighting to keep us on that path,” Sen. Bye said.
Vice Chair: Education
Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106-1591
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