State Sen. Paul Cicarella (R-North Haven) applauded the State Senate’s passage of legislation that he and Senate Republican leaders proposed to expand the education-to-workforce pipeline and connect youth at an early age to career paths.
The bill passed with unanimous support in the State Senate on Wednesday evening, and now moves to the House of Representatives. Workforce development has been one of Senator Cicarella’s top priorities during the 2022 legislative session. Most recently, Senator Cicarella hosted a workforce roundtable discussion with 30 local business and community leaders in Wallingford to identify common challenges to talent development, recruitment and retention.
“I have always been passionate about workforce development because it’s something that hits home for me. While college is a good path for some, it is not a one-size-fits-all approach to putting young people on a path to a good paying career,” said Senator Cicarella.
“I’ve spent the past year visiting schools across the district and the state to find the most effective ways that students are being exposed to careers in the trades and the healthcare industry. Between this and my experience with the Joe Abate Charitable Foundation’s Ignite Talent program, there are great ideas that I was able to develop into some of the polices in this bill. All young people deserve the chance to realize their potential, and this is a good first step,” he said.
Senate Bill No. 228 An Act Concerning Opportunities for Students to Participate in Pathways Programs and the Provision of Information about the Availability of Technical Education and Career Schools and Regional Agricultural Science and Technology Education Centers includes components of the Senate Republicans’ Better Way to a Prosperous Connecticut legislative package focused on workforce development and jobs, including the following two provisions:
- Establishes the Pipeline for Connecticut’s Future program to help Connecticut high schools partner with local job creators to train their future workforce.
- Reinvigorates Vocational School Recruitment in middle schools.
The Pipeline for Connecticut’s Future
The Pipeline for Connecticut’s Future program is modeled on the successful work in Wallingford and Platt Tech where local job creators partner with schools to train their future workforce.
The bill requires the State Department of Education to partner with stakeholders to develop best practices for local school districts to create pathways to obtain occupational licenses, apprenticeships or immediate job skills through partnerships with local businesses. The State Department of Education must examine existing laws and identify changes required to allow for successful partnerships, such as in school attendance requirements, counting certain apprenticeship hours as in school hours, and certification requirements. Programs will also include both industry-specific class time and cooperative work placements.
Reinvigorate Vocational School Recruitment
The bill requires that school counselors provide information to middle and high school students and their parents on the availability of vocational, technical, technological, and postsecondary education and training at technical education and career schools and agricultural science and technology education at regional agricultural science and technology education centers.
The bill now moves to the House of Representatives.