Sen. Gordon, CT Senate Republicans Unveil ‘Opportunity for All’ Plan to Bolster CT’s Workforce, Grow Jobs

February 28, 2023


State Sen. Jeff Gordon (R-Woodstock) today joined Connecticut Senate Republicans to unveil “A Better Way to Opportunity for All and A Vibrant Workforce” – a package of legislative proposals aimed at bolstering Connecticut’s workforce and addressing shortages in key industries.


The proposals include policies to address the teacher and health care worker shortage, bolster career pathway development, enhance work-based learning experiences, boost vocational program recruitment for middle school-aged children, require financial literacy education in Connecticut schools, and promote trade school enrollment.


The plan:


  • Requires the state to develop a new program for an accelerated pathway to certification for teachers in trades.
  • Requires the state to expand reciprocity opportunities for out-of state-teachers.
  • Requires the state to work with the Connecticut Hospital Association to develop curriculum for a high school “Health Care Academy.”
  • Requires high schools to discuss the benefits of attending a trade school alongside any discussions of enrolling at a traditional two- or four-year college.
  • Examines barriers to transportation for work-based learning experiences.
  • Requires the state to develop guidelines for hosting successful job fairs at high schools.
  • Reestablishes a vo-tech ambassador program to share information with students in middle schools to make school children more aware of future opportunities.
  • Requires the state to develop a program to reach out to high school graduates not attending college or working in a trade within three months of graduation regarding alternative pathways to careers.
  • Initiates a state review and audit of workforce development programs to assess for effectiveness and performance.
  • Requires financial literacy education opportunities in Connecticut schools.
  • Creates a “Buy CT to Build CT” program to incentivize defense contractors to create and support jobs.



Senator Gordon said, “Our plan addresses the many employment challenges that Connecticut residents, especially young people, face. As a physician, I understand the critical importance of developing a strong healthcare workforce in Connecticut. With an aging population and growing healthcare needs, it’s essential that we train and educate the next generation of healthcare professionals. That’s why I’m excited about our proposal to establish a high school “healthcare academy” in partnership with the Connecticut Hospital Association, which will help provide young people with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in a well-paying career in the industry.


“I’m also looking forward to the prospect of reestablishing vo-tech ambassador programs to engage with students in middle school. In our region especially, it’s important that we raise awareness about the many opportunities in vocational and technical fields. By working together with educators, employers, and community organizations, we can help build a pipeline of skilled workers who will contribute to the growth and prosperity of our state.”


Read the plan here.