Posted on May 31, 2019 by Greg MacKinnon
HARTFORD – State Rep. Mitch Bolinsky (R-Newtown) hailed the passage of legislation he cosponsored to enhance Connecticut’s talent pool for Advanced Manufacturing through a new preparation and certification program initiative. The bill, H.B. 5333 “An Act Establishing a Pilot Program for the Expansion of Advanced Manufacturing Certificate Programs”, was positively acted upon by the House of Representatives on Thursday evening.
“We are always looking for ways to improve the economic climate in Connecticut. Manufacturing has evolved tremendously and, with high-tech, to be far different from what many of us traditionally think of. There are many clean, highly-skilled career opportunities in advanced manufacturing popping up around us and every one of them needs qualified, skilled, forward-thinking talent to take on these challenges. This program is made to develop a more nimble pool of qualified workers to feed newer, higher-tech, higher-paying industry segments so we have the workforce to attract new or growing businesses to Newtown and our state. We need the talent to regrow our economy,” explained Rep. Bolinsky, who has continually advocated for workforce improvement projects.
The legislation calls for the Board of Regents of Higher Education to create criteria that will identity workforce needs for those trained in advanced manufacturing. Additionally, it will identify economically distressed municipalities, residents who lack access to advanced manufacturing certificate programs near their homes, and sufficient space in a public high school to operate an advanced manufacturing certificate program.
Rep. Bolinsky said, “Growing the workforce organically and getting high school kids involved early will hopefully entice them to stay here. Connecticut historically excels at fostering unique talents and this legislation is a step in the right direction to providing the best resources to our students and also, in the future, to be adapted to open-up new opportunities for more mature workers who may have been displaced by changes happening in traditional manufacturing and other industries.”
Employers have expressed an urgent need for advanced manufacturing applicants. Consequently, the legislation was acted upon with overwhelming bipartisan support and heads to the State Senate for further action.