Reps. Fishbein and Candelora, State Sen. Ciccarella, HUBCAP Wallingford, More Than 30 Local Businesses & Area Legislators Tackle CT Workforce Development Challenges

Posted on April 11, 2022


Wallingford-area business, nonprofit, government and community leaders gather for roundtable discussion to put students, Veterans and residents on career pathways.

State Sen. Paul Cicarella (R-North Haven), House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora (R-North Branford) and State Rep. Craig Fishbein (R-Wallingford) partnered with HUBCAP Wallingford to find solutions to improve Connecticut’s workforce development programs with leaders from more than 30 local businesses, organizations and government agencies. The legislators were joined by Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Thomas Saadi, leaders from the Connecticut Department of Labor.

The organizations, which included a cross-section of industries, met with the local and state leaders for a roundtable discussion at HUBCAP’s Wallingford location. With stagnant job and income growth in the state, the roundtable discussion is another step to connect residents with well-paying careers and employers will skilled employees through apprenticeship and job training programs.

House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora said, “As a legislator who is often asked to make policy decisions that can impact entire industries, I appreciate every opportunity to participate in discussions about crafting solutions to big challenges faced by employers—in this case, developing a sustainable talent pool and pipeline strategy that would supply companies with the skilled workers they desperately need. Considering the energy and dialogue I saw today, I’m really optimistic about what can be achieved in our region.”

“Supporting the business community needs to be more than platitudes. We must listen to their needs, and make sure our laws don’t hamper their ability to hire qualified employees,” State Rep. Craig Fishbein said. “The manufacturing and construction industry have distinctly different hiring needs than small retail or healthcare employers. We must do more to support workforce development across all sectors.”

The discussion included the challenges that organizations face in identifying, recruiting and retaining employees in a post-pandemic labor market. Senator Cicarella has touted workforce development legislation through the Senate Republicans’ ‘A Better Way to A Prosperous Connecticut’ plan that includes legislative measures to create defined paths to careers for young people, opportunities for Veterans through licensure credits and vocational technology program recruitment. Currently, S.B. 228 contains two concepts from this plan and has since advanced from the legislature’s Education Committee.

“Thank you to HUBCAP Wallingford for their partnership to bring the right people in the room. This was a very productive discussion and is another step to put all Connecticut residents on a path to fulfilling careers. We have so many businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and schools that are doing great work to help our future workforce and entrepreneurs. The challenge that we saw today is that, in many instances, these services are duplicated and these organizations operate in silos. Our goal is to break down those silos to leverage best practices with state funding for the benefit of Connecticut job-seekers and employers,” said Senator Cicarella.

“We have outstanding workforce development models in our community in our local schools and the Joe Abate Foundation’s Ignite Talent program. I look forward to working with all stakeholders to replicate this success,” he said.

House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora, State Sen. Paul Cicarella, HUBCAP Wallingford Board of Directors President Joe Mirra and State Rep. Craig Fishbein lead a business roundtable discussion with local business, nonprofit and government leaders at HUBCAP Wallingford on Friday, April 8, 2022.