HARTFORD, CT -- The Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) announced more than $1million in grants to support Connecticut workforce development training and educational programs at the Legislative Office Building on Wednesday, Feb. 27. State Treasurer Shawn Wooden and Senator Will Haskell were in attendance to recognize the recipients.
The awarded programs will drive critical economic and employment growth in Connecticut. The two largest grants were awarded to:
- The Workforce Development Council (WDC), which received a $500,000 grant for workforce training and support at the State’s five Workforce Development Boards
- The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT), which received a $250,000 grant for expanding middle and high school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs and curriculum.
Additionally, three public and two private colleges and universities received CHEFA Client Grants to support STEM education and careers. Grants totaling more than $320,000 were awarded to Capital Community College, Central Connecticut State University, Naugatuck Valley Community College, Sacred Heart University, and the University of Saint Joseph.
Workforce development is a key priority for our state,” said Shawn Wooden, State Treasurer. “We must connect Connecticut residents to actual jobs and help them get the skill sets necessary to fill those jobs. The grant recipients recognized today are a critical part of that process, to make sure our state is ready to move forward with a skilled workforce. The leadership shown by CHEFA in this area is tremendously important in retaining our workforce and pipeline of top talent.”
“Businesses of all sizes tell me they are having trouble finding a young, diverse, tech-savvy workforce in Connecticut,” remarked State Senator Will Haskell, Co-Chair of the Higher Education & Employment Advancement Committee. “These grants will help address this issue, to make sure our state is equipped with highly-skilled workers ready to meet the demands of the 21st century economy.”
The CHEFA Grant Program, established in 2002, has provided more than $30 million to nonprofit organizations that provide essential health, educational, cultural, and childcare services to the residents of Connecticut.
“The fastest growing workforce sectors in the State are advanced manufacturing and healthcare careers. Currently, there are 13,000 manufacturing jobs unfilled in our State. And as our population ages, there is a growing demand for jobs in the healthcare sector. Our investment will help bring these opportunities to more Connecticut residents,” said Jeanette Weldon, CHEFA Executive Director. “Workforce development is an integral part of CHEFA’s strategic plan and CHEFA is proud to support all of our recipient organizations who are developing a network of highly trained workers in these industries,” said Betty Sugerman Weintraub, CHEFA Grant Program Manager.
The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT), located in East Hartford, received a $250,000 grant for expanding middle and high school STEM programs and curriculum. CCAT will work with the New London and Bridgeport school systems to develop and implement the curriculum over a two-year period. CCAT serves the State of Connecticut with education and workforce development in the areas of applied technologies, energy solutions, STEM education, and export and cyber compliance. https://www.ccat.us
The Workforce Development Council (WDC) received a $500,000 grant to support job training, case management, and support services led by the five Connecticut Workforce Development Boards (WDBs). The WDBs operate a statewide network of 18 American Job Centers, in partnership with the CT Department of Labor, to provide workforce assistance to jobseekers and businesses. CHEFA grant funds will directly support: 1) job training for hard-to-employ individuals; 2) training stipends designed to enable low-income individuals to complete short-term job training programs; and 3) flexible funding pools at each WDB for payments to cover childcare, transportation, and other job-related costs. https://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/rwdb/dir-rwdb.htm
The Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) is a quasi-public agency that provides access to tax‐exempt financing and other financial assistance, including grant programs, to educational institutions, healthcare providers, childcare providers, cultural institutions, and other eligible non-profit entities. CHEFA derives its revenues from the annual loan servicing fee it charges its clients, and operates without any State or taxpayer funds. CHEFA also expands higher educational opportunities for Connecticut students through its subsidiary, the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA).
Photo: CHEFA awards $500,000 to Workforce Development Boards. Pictured from left to right: Betty Sugerman Weintraub, CHEFA; Alex Johnson, Capital Workforce Partners; Jeanette Weldon, CHEFA; Jill Watson, Workforce Alliance; Joe Carbone, The Workplace; Virginia Sampietro, Eastern Workforce Investment Board; Genny Fonseca, Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board; Peter Lisi, CHEFA.
Betty Sugerman Weintraub
Grant Program Manager