Sen. Kelly, Lawmakers Share Proposals to Enhance Workforce Development & Jobs

February 23, 2022

Lawmakers Share “A Better Way to a Prosperous Connecticut”

HARTFORD – Today Connecticut Senate Republican leaders unveiled a package of legislative proposals focused on job growth and workforce development and called on their colleagues to work together to make Connecticut more supportive of opportunity, training, and good paying jobs to support all families.


The proposals include policies to enhance workforce training at the high school level, expand apprenticeship support programs, establish a health care workforce training program in Connecticut high schools, and grow jobs in the state’s defense and insurance industries.

The legislative package entitled “A Better Way to a Prosperous Connecticut” is part of the Senate Republican leaders’ “Better Way” agenda which includes policies to make Connecticut more affordable, healthy, transparent, and safe.


“Connecticut Senate Republicans are here today to call for action, to offer our ideas to grow opportunity, to support young people, to develop a future workforce, to support the growing demand for health care workers, and to give every person in our state the opportunity to achieve prosperity and support themselves and their families,” said Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford).


“Connecticut is dead last in the nation in job growth and income growth. Young people in Connecticut are graduating to an unemployment pool of nearly 100,000 people. Generational poverty is a pervasive problem in our state, especially in our cities. Income growth is not keeping up with the cost of living. We are facing a health care workforce shortage. Opportunity is out of reach for far too many. And a lack of opportunity is tied to struggles throughout all aspects of life. Yet during this time many lawmakers in Hartford continue to push forward with a job killing agenda. We must focus on helping job creators build opportunity and helping our children and young people develop the skills that will help them achieve prosperity,” said Kelly.


“Connecticut lags significantly behind the rest of the nation when it comes to our economic recovery following the pandemic,” said Senate Republican Leader Pro Tempore Paul Formica (R-East Lyme). “Connecticut is also experiencing a K-shaped recovery and people at the lower end aren’t experiencing what those at the top are. Economists have warned that Connecticut’s economy is the worst performing economy in all 50 states. That is alarming and demands action. We must be laser focused on opportunity.”


“The policies in Connecticut today have made our state unaffordable, a problem worsened because income growth has not kept up with our state’s absurdly high costs on everything from taxes to energy to housing to health care. The solution is not more of the same. It’s not more government and more taxes,” said Senator Henri Martin (R-Bristol) ranking member of the Commerce Committee. “There is a better way. We must create an environment where all jobs in all parts of our state can grow and thrive, where employers can afford to support good paying jobs, and where all young people have an opportunity to access good paying jobs.”


“We must support our job creators, and we also must support our schools and children at an early age,” said Senator Eric Berthel (R-Watertown), ranking member of the Education Committee. “We have to reach students early to help them develop skills and focus on how education at all levels leads to employment. It’s about empowering kids starting as early as middle school to take charge of their futures and give them the tools they need to succeed.”


“It is vital that we work to reach our children at an early age, with an eye to pathways to careers that don’t need to involve a four-year degree,” said Senator Paul Cicarella (R-North Haven).”We also must continue supporting opportunities for veterans who often enter the workforce with unique skills from their time in service,” said Cicarella, who serves as Ranking Member of the Veteran’s Committee.


The Better Way to a Prosperous Connecticut includes the following proposals:

  • “Pipeline to Work” Program
  • Workforce Development Path to Career
  • “Health Care Academy”
  • Return of Job Fairs
  • Vocational Programs Recruitment
  • Taskforce to Study Occupational Licenses
  • Providing Career Opportunities for Veterans
  • “Buy CT to Build CT” program to support job growth in the defense industry
  • Growing Jobs in our state’s Flagship Insurance Industry


Learn more at Read the plan.